We’re not entirely sure what the deal is with online casino developers, but they seem to be trapped in a state of perpetual confusion. Perhaps they don’t think that anyone logging on to their websites will really stop to actually consider what on Earth is going on when it comes to aesthetics, brand names and references. Maybe they just assume we’re all stupid. Either way, things very rarely make any sense whatsoever.
Consider Casinoval, for example. It’s a clever play on Casinova and Casino, presumably. And yet when the site first loads up, the only imagery we’re greeted with is a Native American stereotype, dressed in ‘traditional wears’ (or rather a hastily realised vision of what those ‘traditional wears’ should look like), standing next to a slot themed on the frontier times. It’s irrelevant, and, quite jarring in the initial.
Before you jump down the throat of this particular reviewer let’s make one thing clear. We’re under no illusion that the brave in the picture is linked to the game, Sacred Owl, which is on display next to him. Likely this changes on a relatively regular basis – perhaps once a week, or once a month. This is, after all, designed to give you an idea as to what you can expect when you sign up for an account – the types and themes of games. Yet with absolutely no other imagery on display, the first impression is that this site is called Casinoval, but somehow seems to be linked to Native Americans. Bizarre and utterly ridiculous.
Moving on past that initial gripe- and thankfully that is possible- Casinoval isn’t the most up to date of the online casinos we’ve had the absolutely pleasure of reviewing in our time. For one thing, everything on the landing pages is static- a dull, lifeless place where 2008 web design still rules the roost. On other URLs we might have alternating images – which would have nullified our opening criticism- or pictures that do not exist in obviously pre-defined boxes. Things would be smooth, embedded, as one with the overall design, rather than appearing bolted on. As such, based on the initial introduction, this one appears destined for the average pile.
It Does Get Better
Reassuringly for those that made this site, it’s not all bad news all the time. On the top of the screen, or at least just beneath the trademark Casinoval wording, you’ll see a pretty standard row of menus you can click onto. The first, ‘Getting Started’, takes you through to the instructions to download. Now we’re in two very different minds about download online casinos – on the one hand, they are usually much more stable when you are running from a desktop. Then again, the hassle of having to download really does smart at times.
For Casinoval, this isn’t as much of an issue as some others, simply because the developers have actually though it pertinent to give you a clear understanding of what is in store when you do download. You wouldn’t believe (or maybe you would) how many websites expect you to download software first, only to find out what games are actually in the system later. There is a word for people like that, or a few, and presumptuous is probably the least offensive.
Plenty of Details?
So Casinoval has plenty of details about what you can expect to be playing. Away from those rows of menus we mentioned, at the bottom of the homepage, there are four clearly defined boxes showing the different types of games on offer – Slots, Video Poker, Blackjack and Roulette. Hardly the most inspiring selection, nevertheless, at least you’re clear on what you will get for your money. Or rather time.
Back up to the menu, and if you click on ‘Our Games’ this will open up a new screen, which provides more information on the games offered. Top Games is the first section, which seems to be dominated by Slots. We love Slots, that’s for true, but it would be nice to have a little more detail on the other stuff you can get involved with. Coming Soon is a nice addition, giving you an insight into what’s lined up for the near future, then you also have the lowdown on Progressives jackpot games, whereby prize money accumulates over several rounds leading to a big payout.
Sadly, that’s about it, meaning the developers have neglected to detail anything about poker, roulette or blackjack. On other sites, you can even see how many people are involved in a specific game, and similarly enlightening information. This would be really useful, or at least having any information on the table games would be useful when it comes to getting you to sign up for an account and download. That’s not the case, though, and so you can take this as yet another criticism of Casinoval.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
There is some light at the end of that last tunnel we took you down, mind, and that light comes in the form of promotional offers and great deals. You can get 100% cashback on your first week of play, which seems pretty generous to us, although this requires a deposit on your part.
For real free money, how about bonus simply for sharing the Casinoval page publicly on your own profile. Obviously, the is credited to your casino account, not bank account, but nevertheless it’s a lot of dough for not a lot of effort on your part. Finally, you are also given a 400% welcome bonus on any deposit up to 0, just for being a part of the community. These probably aren’t the most generous things we’ve ever been offered, but they are certainly a cut above the average.
Casinoval isn’t backwards at coming forwards with reassurances. For starters, there’s a whole webpage dedicated to testimonials from other users claiming that this is a genuinely good and genuinely generous online casino.
It doesn’t take long to figure out that the avatar images used to illustrate the people who have given positive feedback are mass-produced profiles, with many used to represent multiple users. However, this isn’t to say that the testimonials are fake- as that would clearly be infringing on at least a few laws (you’d hope), and certainly highly unethical.
Add to this the fact that every page on the website clearly displays branding to suggest that the best and most up to date security and financial transaction software is in place to protect both your details and your money, and you really couldn’t ask for many more assurances as to whether or not this is a decent site to use when it comes to winning big. It sounds basic, but this is something that we see overlooked frequently by websites of this kind, so top marks on this front at least.
Casinoval is a real mixed bag. On the one hand, there are some decent promotions and from what we can see pre-download, a decent range of games that are offered to people with accounts. There’s also plenty of guarantee as to the fact you’re not going to wake up with no money left after someone has hacked your details, or indeed struggle in terms of using your preferred payment/withdrawal methods.
Having said all that, though, it could do with some updating visually, and there is a problem in terms of still not having a huge amount of information when it comes to the breadth of games on offer. On the whole, then, this would have been top of the line a few years ago, it’s still decent enough, but really has its days numbered unless it’s going to get a facelift and overhaul in the next couple of years.