Star Wars Battlefront 2 continues to receive much-deserved flak for its microtransactions, as well as how said systems are tied into core gameplay mechanics. Mutant Entertainment Studios saw a spot in the market for a game that focused solely on loot crates, and since 2017 appears to be the year of these torturous beasts it only made sense for such a title to be released on Steam.
Even better, it's called I Can't Believe It's Not Gambling. The best part of all; it's as good as you'd hope it would be.
Straight to the crates
Should you have played Star Wars Battlefront 2 and wondered why you had to sit through all that pointless gameplay in-between opening loot crates, you're not alone. I Can't Believe It's Not Gambling is not only a superb title for a game, but it also strips out any non-gameplay elements and focuses entirely on gambling with loot crates. These boxes can be opened to reveal randomized loot that can be equipped by a character.
With this 99c game installed, you can finally experience the thrill of losing to the random number generation (RNG) Goddess and not receive the item you so desperately desire. All without picking up a season pass, putting in any amount of significant time, nor parting with cash for in-game purchases. Much like loot crate systems shared by a number of games, I Can't Believe It's Not Gambling has trash, common, uncommon, rare, epic, and legendary grades.
The premise of the gameplay is to unlock crates to gain access to more crates. Selling duplicated items will bag you some gold which can be spent on said crates. That's pretty much it, but don't let that fool you into believing it to be shallow like a small pond. You begin with a trash can, and while selling duplicates will bag you some coin needed to open these crates, you'll need to dive into "Not BFII," a Snake-like mini-game that allows you to collect Destiny emblems and more. And those who spend a lot on microtransactions are referred to as "whales," who you play as in the mini-game.
After reaching a certain number of coins, you'll then be able to move up to cardboard boxes. And then onto crates. This continues for a further four tiers. Not only can you progress through the loot crates but you can also score achievements and even return to previous tiers to complete each collection. There's plenty to do ... well, not really but this isn't technically a game but more an interactive meme.
The graphics are minimal, but what else would you expect to see? The animation effects for the actual opening of the loot crates are really good and make you feel as though you're in a triple-A game. There's also some music — the title menu and Not BFII soundtracks are my personal favorites.
Better than AAA
Performance is solid, simply because there's not really much happening on-screen. All six stages can be completed within around ten hours. Interestingly, it's possible to keep track of your progress with ease by simply looking at the account level. This figure represents how many loot crates have been opened in total. Unfortunately, there are no difficulty settings to adjust the rate of drops. It should be possible to turn chance levels down to 0.00000000001 percent for added gameplay value.
I Can't Believe It's Not Gambling not only pokes fun at EA and Star Wars Battlefront 2, but all games that make use of a loot crate system — Overwatch being another. If you're sick and tired of this mechanic working its way into what should be exceptional games, and are interested in witnessing a great little gem, you should definitely check out I Can't Believe It's Not Gambling. Best of all, it's less than $1.
In all seriousness, you really cannot rate this "game," but I hope I've relayed just how well executed this joke of a little program is. The studio poked fun at the triple-A industry in all the right ways without overdoing it. You'll find yourself giggling more than anything, and that's a good thing in the current climate.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.