Card games have long proved to be a worthy diversion, not only to pass the time but also the perfect test of logic, strategy and forward thinking. Aiming to harness their wide appeal, Card Games: The Classics, the latest release from Deep Silver, bundles together a wealth of varying game types, yet does it prove too much of the same?
There are forty different card game types to delve into within the Single Player mode, split between Classic, Casino and Solitaire variants. Whilst regular card players will recognise a majority of these – Hearts, Bridge, Gin Rummy, Go Fish and Texas Hold’em being typical examples – the broad selection is sure to also serve up those that lurk within an unfamiliar territory, hopefully allowing even the most experienced players to enjoy something entirely new.
In such cases, it proves useful then that prior to, and during, each match you’re able to read through an extensive explanation of each card game type, as well as being able to adjust the rules and AI difficulty (ranging from Easy, Normal or Hard) to match your relevant level of experience.
Control input is all handheld intuitively through the Nintendo DS touchscreen, with the player simply selecting whichever card(s) they’d like to use. Further functionality such as the Options and Help menus, or panning the camera (not to cheat, mind!), are all also performed through use of the touchscreen as well. A record that tracks basic statistics will allow you to keep track of the amount of games played, the percentage won, average points scored and whereabouts you find yourself mostly ranked.
There’s been a concerted effort to provide visual variance too, with the player granted the option of freely choosing from a selection of tables and environments, surrounding yourself with scenery such as the Swiss Alps, a Casino, an Aquarium or even a Japanese Ryokan. Your opponents are also represented by on-screen character models – a range of colourful avatars that will surely help to ensure the card game collection appeals to a younger audience despite their basic animation.
Those looking for a further challenge will be pleased to hear that you can head online using the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. You’ll either be able to search for any opponent or through selecting someone that you know through the game’s Friend Roster. Chat options also allow you to share audio, text or pre-specified messages to other players, a useful inclusion that allows you to engage with other enthusiasts. It is important to note that during online play, your time to make a move is limited and if you don’t perform it before such a period runs out, you’ll be removed from the game.
Nintendo DS Download Play also receives support, enabling players to challenge friends across the nineteen Classic or Casino game types that encompass all popular favourites – the only absentee being Video Poker.
Even falling within the realms of the Nintendo DS’ budget range of sub-£20 releases, Card Games: The Classics proves to be quite the comprehensive package. Amicable production values provide the foundation for the game’s ultimate strengths, which unsurprisingly lie within the considerable quantity of card game types available.
Perfectly suited to short burst play, providing plenty of variety, and carefully catered toward the Nintendo DS’ broad demographic through its intuitive design, Card Games: The Classics proves hard not to recommend to enthusiasts.