This time we're going waaaay back ... 1986 ... Just remember ... This was the year when we were all singing 'Rock Me Amadeus Ro-ro-rock me Amadeus' on our way home from school. In the summertime, Johnny 5 needed input, and just before Ferris Bueller had his day off, the Bangles got us all prancing around like Egyptians. It was the greatest of years in the UK, but the ST only had one tos. After our stalwart adventure through the nefarious Lands Of Havoc, Microdeal churned out a more conservative offering with a plain and intelligible collection of five card games, namely Blackjack, Cribbage, Klondike, Poker Squares, and Solitare.
1. Blackjack you all should know already.
2. Cribbage is more popular in England, and is a traditional pub game ranking closely along with darts and dominoes. It is simple to learn and pleasant to play. Each player is dealt 6 cards each. The deck is split and on show. Each player then selects two of these as crib cards and these four together are set aside for later. Depending who has the deal, either you or your opponent will get the crib cards to score points from, so either select a crap pair of cards for your opponent or a promising pair for yourself. When each game begins you have to place down cards alternately with your opponent and score points depending on the patterns or sequences you create. For example, if you put down the same value card as your opponent did last time, it is called a PAIR worth 2 points. A RUN of three cards (in any permutation) eg 345 or 534 is worth 3 points. Also a RUN of 4 cards (3456) is worth 5 points. Three of a kind (aka Pair Royale) worth 6 points. Total pips = 15 is worth 2 points. Total pips = 31 is worth 2 points, and so on. The picture cards count as 10 pips, and Ace is low. The total number of pips on show cannot exceed 31. If you cannot place a card down because of this it is called a GO, worth a point away. If nobody can place a card down, the cards are turned over (0 pips) and you play on. The player who puts the LAST CARD down gets a point. If you score 31 pips after a GO has occured then you only get 1 point for that. At the end, all cards are revealed. Each players own collection of cards is scored by the same way, together with the card in the split deck. The opponent has the same done to his cards, and afterward, the dealer gets the four crib cards on show together with the split deck and is scored. The deal is handed over... Iterate until one player tops 121.
3. The most familiar of these is Klondike which you will better know as the All American Windows Solitaire.
4. Poker Squares is a fun little one player card game. Shuffle the deck, and take one off the top. Place it into the squares on a 5x5 grid with the intention of scoring poker hands in each row or column. There is a lot of luck involved.
5. The Solitare provided here is the true and original British version. You've probably never seen if you're of youthful disposition. It is a similar idea to get all cards in order into suits. Cards are dealt in 17 piles of three and 1 pile of one in such a way that you can see all of the cards' faces. A card on top may be moved to the top of any other pile providing that the card it is placed upon is the SAME suit AND one value higher. If you reveal any aces, you can take these out and begin your separate suit piles which can be added to at any time providing the appropriate card is on show. If the game seizes up, you may on two occasions only, gather up the cards not in the suit piles and redeal them into piles of three. You may NOT begin any new piles with kings that become exposed. Unlike the American Solitaire, this is a thinking man's game requiring analysis to determine the often complex sequences of cards which need to be made available step by step. I find it good for strategy training, logical analysis, and memory training.
It isn't meant to be a graphically stunning game, so it is not so easy to rate the Graphics. They are clear but no frills, although the drawing time is a little slow. I acknowledge that some of the text is non-standard and this is drawn very well. Cards are moved with outline animation and where cards are drawn overlapping it looks layered as it should.
Sound is limited to a system ping whenever you click on an illegal place, which is better than nothing, but it is not a pleasant noise and I'm sure something better could have been used.
Programmed by J.Weaver Jr, this is a GEM based program that was actually distributed by Michtron in the end although the copyright remains with Microdeal.
The overall feeling is of something calm and conservative, and moderately entertaining if card games are your thing.
Graphics : 5
Sound : 5
Gameplay : 6
Overall : 6