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Platform

DS

 

Genre

Puzzle / Card Game

 

Publisher

Nintendo

 

Developer

Agenda

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

October 2006

 

 

- Multiplayer options are complete and flexible

- Touchscreen is put to full use

- Single-player mode is somewhat livened up with Stamp and Mission modes

- Rules for each game are included

 

 

- No poker

 

 

Review: Brain Age (DS)

Review: Meteos (DS)

Review: Mario vs. Donkey Kong (DS)

 

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Clubhouse Games

Score: 9.0 / 10

 

With Nintendo's DS a little over two years old it's a surprise that no one has come up with an all-in-one board and card game package.  Clubhouse Games from Nintendo and Agenda gets just about everything right -- it comes packed with about 20 card games (including favorites like Poker and Blackjack), more than a dozen board games, and a few extras that can only be described as mini-games (i.e. darts, bowling, a modified Jenga-type game).  More importantly, the rules are also included in case you're unfamiliar with the games.  I finally learned how to play Old Maid!

 

clubhouse games      clubhouse games      clubhouse games

 

The game is broken into single and multiplayer components.  Besides the obvious single-player only games (like Solitaire), Clubhouse Games features full multiplayer support for every game over local and hotspot (for battles against faceless opponents around the globe) wifi, and peer-to-peer download.  

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This multiplayer support is integral to the title; without it Clubhouse Games would be a poor comparison to the flimsiest playing cards.  It replicates (somewhat) the feel of just breaking out a pack of cards and playing a few hands, with the touchscreen is used exclusively for all the titles.  Plus, it features a pictochat option so you can send taunting messages silently!

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Single-player is a  decidedly lonely experience playing in Freeplay mode, though it does make for an easy pick-up and play experience.  To make the overall game more interesting, the developers have included Stamp and Mission modes.  Stamp mode lines up the games in levels and stages.  For example, Level 1-1 is a game of Old Maid; finish that and it's on to dominoes or Level 1-2.  It's like a platformer game with cards and board games instead of a rolly-polly mascot.  Stamp offers up specific challenges, some of which are extremely difficult, which often rely on blind luck and a lightning fast hand on the stylus.  They're grouped in difficulty levels and don't necessarily need to be approached in any kind of order.

 

Clubhouse Games is not as cheap as a deck of playing cards, but it's more versatile -- it's worth it for the multiplayer options alone (if card games are your thing).

 

- Omni

(November 3, 2006)

 

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