Saturday, August 15, 2015

Best of Entertainment 1: Card games

(Picture possibly coming soon)

I once saw a GameFAQs top 10 list that was called the Top 10 reasons play video games, and the games that represent them. That list struck a chord with me since number 1 was habit and had the PC game of solitaire to rep it. And that’s pretty hard to deny considering how often people used to load it up on their PC when bored or had other simple games ready when the internet is down. As a matter of fact, there’s almost a whole market for people who play games on the toilet. But the one series of games that I think of when reflecting on all of this is the Best of Entertainment pack that used to come on Windows. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent on the different games just cause they were there. And that’s why for this August, I’m reviewing them all! Yup, it’s Best of Entertain-Month for Level Up! I am reviewing a bundle of 13 games one by one (so don’t be surprised if I don’t go in detail with all of them). Let’s cut a huge chunk out right away by looking at the card games.
I didn’t play some of these games as much since I found some of them boring and others I didn’t know how to play. Golf was one of them. I played this game so rarely, I had to look up a version of the game to find out how to play for this review. Turns you goal is to remove cards by selecting ones one number off on the one on top of your deck (for example, if you have a 6, you can take off a 5 or 7), but keep in mind that whichever card you take will replace that number. While you can plan out an order, it’s harder than it sounds, as sometimes finding the right one to pick off your cards is not always evident.
Another game I didn’t play much is Dr. Black Jack. I actually did understand how to play Black Jack (closest to 21 without going over wins), but playing it on a computer just wasn’t appealing. To me, it kind of compared to “guess the number”. There are only so times I can press my luck with certain cards before it just feels the same.
One “gambling” game that I did enjoy was Tripeaks. This game was composed of 3 “pyramids” of cards face down, with the bottom row face up. Otherwise, it plays in the similar “one number off” way as golf. You flipped over a face down card once both the face up ones in front of it were removed. This makes the game that was alright in golf a lot harder, since you’re partially blind.
Speaking of having to figure out the correct order to do things, Freecell is another game that was included in Best of Entertainment. If you’re on a Windows OS, you can probably check this out for yourself, as its since become a default program. Much like regular solitaire, your goal is get all the suits in order from ace to king. The catch is that you can only move one card at a time. However, you have 4 “free cells” to store cards. You can either use these to move more cards at a time, or store a card that’s blocking you from getting one you want. When you free up a column, you can also use it to put cards aside, so it’s all about managing your resources.
The last game is another one I haven’t played much, Tuts Tomb. This one I had no idea how to play and its harder to figure out than Golf. Turns out, your goal is to remove cards in pairs that add up to 13 (with the exception of the king, who is a 13 on his own). Naturally, since this is called TUT’s tomb, the cards are laid out in a face up pyramid, and like Tripeaks, you can only access a card once the ones covering it have been removed. Like Tripeaks and Golf, figuring out the best pattern is essential, but a little more frustrating here, as you can’t always chain stuff. Quite frankly, this one is my least favorite card game in the pack.
So that’s the card games of Best of Entertainment, a decent start to show us what it was really for: a distraction and cure for boredom. All the card games had similar graphics, which are very flat looking cards on a green background (though, you had a variety of decks to pick from). Nothing too exciting to start off, but we’ll get to more interesting games as the month continues.

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