Clubhouse Games

October 20, 2006

About time, is really all I can say. This is the multiplayer game that I have been waiting for on the Nintendo DS. It offers dozens of simple, fun games that not only can be played with single card wireless, but over WiFi. From chess to blackjack to darts, [i]Clubhouse Games[/i] has a little something for everyone.

Every single game on this card plays exactly like you think it would, employing the touch screen for every action. At first, the names of some of the games are a little disconcerting. What I always called ‘Speed’ is called ‘Spit’ here and there are many other examples. Thankfully, there is Stamp mode, which is what the single player game is mostly made up of. You play through every game in the Clubhouse, getting a feel for them all.

Don’t know how to play Rummy? No problem! Every game has its rules extensively written out in a very useful help system. Every game, even the more obscure ones, can be puzzled out via the rules system. Thankfully, every interface in [i]Clubhouse Games[/i] works together to create a cohesive system. When you are reading the rules, the game will tell you if it is your turn. This becomes especially useful when you are chatting. Yes, [i]Clubhouse Games[/i] has in-game pictochat. While you are writing to your friends, it will inform you when you need to make a move. It all comes together to be both enjoyable and easy to use.

All of these features are present in [i]Clubhouse Games[/i]’ robust online mode. Wifi play is supported in over 30 of the games present. They also play exactly like they do in local wireless or single player mode. Unfortunately, you can’t pictochat with strangers, just people on your friend list. Also, each game has its own lobby, so finding a game in some of the more unpopular offerings is a little difficult. Texas Hold Em always has competition going, though.

Some of the offerings in [i]Clubhouse Games[/i] are a little dry, however. The version of Battleship is a little broken. Texas Hold Em lacks an “All-In” feature. Billiards is painful to play and almost embarassing. There are plenty of little gripes to be made about all the games in this package, but for $30 dollars, you are getting a lot of gameplay. The interfaces are clean, and multiplayer is an absolute blast. Hell, my mom steals my DS now to play Solitaire. This game is sure to be very popular with anyone who just wants something simple that they know how to play.

Score: 5/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.