American history has its bleak times, and the early part of the 20th century is like some kind of dark fairy tale, but there is no magic when it comes to taking over a huge city during the Jazz Age. This is the time of real gangsters, flappers, speak-easy casinos, bootleg gin, and a stock market built on credit. There are no knights, and the weapons of choice are Tommy guns and switchblades. This is Chicago in the 1920s, and you might wonder why we are even here. Why, to build a casino empire, of course!
Once Up a Time in Chicago follows the trail of a young upstart as he or she builds his/her business through gambling and hustling properties. Most of the money is made at the local casinos, in which we play the same kind of Wheel of Fortune game, where we match numbers to cards, and each time a card is filled up, a mini-game comes up, like Rise-UP, where you have to choose the tile that might be the highest number, or Match-Up, where you click on the six tiles, and hope to find the two matching tiles. Your winnings in these game are determined by what comes up on the cards. Meanwhile, you are playing against other computer-generated casino patrons, and some of these are your local competition. Yes, it’s a kind of Monopoly, but with a twist. I really enjoyed it. It would be fun to see a modern day version of this game set in 2010s Vegas. Game Factory Interactive might just have a hit on its hands with this one.