Luck Be A Landlord by TrampolineTales
As long as gaming has been a part of the human race, so have games of chance. Video games are no exception. From the AAA industry’s recent foray into loot-boxes to the booming industry of F2P gacha games, we like to take a chance with our money.
Luck Be a Landlord seems to recognize the inherent appeal of gambling, and asks a simple question: “What if you could build a slot machine as you played it?”
The game’s premise is both simple and darkly funny. Your landlord is demanding rent payments and provides you a slot machine to pay it back with. Every spin yields money, after which you can choose another symbol to add to the proceedings. Get enough money in time for your rent payment, and you make it to the next round. However, unlike a typical casino slot machine, you’re not aiming to get three in a row here.
The myriad symbols available all interact with each other in increasingly bizarre ways, each of which gives you more money. Cats will drink Milk icons, eliminating them from the machine but giving a large payout. Bounty Hunters will eliminate Thieves for money but can be upgraded to eliminate all other human characters. Ruffians can break Urns, which in turn spawn Spirits that give money on each landing before eventually fading. The list goes on.
What begins as a game of stumbling around and experimentation soon gives way to careful planning and trying to stack the slots in your favor. Do you play it safe with low-yield symbols that guarantee money, or do you try to go for unlikely combos with big payouts? It’s the best aspects of deck-building games mixed with the compulsion of gambling, and the combination is digital peanut butter and chocolate.
Tough Luck Avenue
Luck Be a Landlord also manages to keep itself compelling by offering levels that add further restrictions on the player. Resources that can be key to your strategy, such as items that let you remove symbols you don’t want, become increasingly scarce, making your choices all the more important. As you learn the system, it offers new ways to trip you up.
That said, there is ultimately some repetition to be found with the game, as repeated plays do eventually reveal some strategies to be safer than others. You’re also still at the mercy of random chance when choosing symbols to add to the slots, which can lead to some frustrating losses (that are still entirely your fault, usually).
However, that does little to dissuade me from heartily recommending Luck Be a Landlord. Factor in the game’s charming aesthetic and wry sense of humor, and this is an experience that I was only able to put down when it became obvious I should have gone to bed several hours ago. Games with new ideas are often a gamble, but trust me, this one is a safe bet.
Luck Be a Landlord is available via itch.io and Steam.
Watch the trailer for Luck Be A Landlord below: