Gin Rummy

October 6, 2008

Gin Rummy is simply an electronic conversion of a card game, and that’s why it just isn’t worth picking up. There’s nothing here that can’t be had with a deck of cards and a table aside from online play. Where is the stat tracking? Where is the tournament play? And where is the incentive to keep playing single-player?

Gin Rummy features the classic game along with four variants – Oklahoma Gin, Hollywood Gin, Three-Hand Gin, and Speed Gin. It’s nice that for $5 you’re getting 5 games, but you could just as easily pick up a deck of physical cards for $1 and have access to hundreds of games. From a gameplay perspective, Gin Rummy shouldn’t be that hard. All you really need to do is make sure the computer is aware of sets, runs, and deadwood. What would be great though is if instead of sorting options I could just move cards around in my hand like I can when I really play Gin. It’s frustrating to cycle through all the pre-canned sort options and not finding one that works for me. Just let me pick a card, hit X, and move it up and down the hand, please.

Gin Rummy does what it sets out to do, and that’s to bring classic versions of the card game classic to the XBL service. Still, amateur mistakes in its design and presentation take too much effort to ignore. Sometimes a minimalist approach works for a game. Sadly, it doesn’t work here, and it just makes the entire experience, although functional, feel like I’m only playing one part of a game that isn’t quite done yet.

Score: 2/5

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