#625 Clubhouse Games/42 All-Time Classics

Posted: 3rd November 2013 by Jeroen in Games
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282nd played so far

IMG_4208Genre: Party
Platform: DS
Year of Release: 2005
Developer: Agenda
Publisher: Nintendo

Sometimes, video games go back to earlier roots – back to before we could grab our 3DS or Vita (probably 3DS, but you know… (be nice to my Vita, it’s not his fault that Sony have no idea what they’re doing)) and had to spend time using things that didn’t require electricity. A pack of cards or domino tiles, playing games alone or in a group. Local multiplayer only, of course.

Over time I’ve learned games like klaverjassen (apparently that’s a mostly Dutch game?), pesten (switch?) and blackjack. Others survived into computer days – we’ve all played a game of Solitaire that’s bundled with Windows. In my house the games of choice were rummy and pontoon… the latter of which is a variant of blackjack.

But what do you do when you don’t have a deck of cards near, but do have a couple of DSs? You get Clubhouse Games, today’s game, and play some local multiplayer. Yeah, card games on your DS. Woo.

Our Thoughts

Card game and other party game adaptations like this (it includes copies of chess and checkers) are as old as any computer game – chess must have been one of the first game adaptations programmed… well… ever. And from that, a collection like this isn’t as remarkable. I remember having a solitaire collection for DOS two decades ago, which contained about ten variants, and adaptations of plenty of other games. While Clubhouse Games contains an impressive variety, going beyond card games to plenty of other board games, there aren’t major outstanding games in there.

In that sense, that’s all the game really offers – a nice digital representation of these games, useful for long car journeys so you play them on the go without needing a lot of space. At that level, it works well – it’s got variety, it’s simple and basic (no fancy card art, just what you need to play) and it will keep you going for some time.

There are a few additional modes to keep you engaged. Missions force you to play games in a certain way, meeting goals in a game to complete them. This can be to execute a certain action a number of times (say, catch a player cheating five times) or to finish it in a limited amount of time. You can play though in order and win each to complete stamp mode and unlock further games. Or you play free play to play the games themselves. They at least add some longevity to the game

The thing this game offers, though, is multiplayer. Local or online play, one of the nice advantages seems to be getting together and playing some card games – now without worries on whether everyone is following the rules or what they were, where to find the cards or where to put them, and where did that four of hearts go? We enjoyed that between us and we’re certain to take it out again to challenge some others at some point with it. The multiplayer, to be honest, is the only thing that we would continue to play since chess against a DS is only so interesting… then again it is a great way to learn a lot of card games.

Final Thoughts

On the whole, this game stands out for the diligence in its execution. It’s not flashy, it’s not trying to do more than it says, it’s just a collection of classic games that work well in single player and even better in multiplayer. It seems worth getting out for the right occasion… it just also feels wrong. We’ll be making a similar conclusion for Picross DS… I’m guessing.