DS

North America

Clubhouse Games

by Aaron Kaluszka - October 22, 2006, 8:39 pm PDT
Total comments: 12

9

The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Clubhouse Games truly represents the idea of Touch Generations. With 42 classic games on one card, there is virtually guaranteed to be several fun attractions for anyone young and old. Think of it as the portable evolution of Yahoo! Games or the Microsoft Entertainment Packs. With touch screen control, it was only a matter of time before somebody released a package like this. Luckily, Nintendo didn’t skimp on quantity and included more games that I would have hoped for. Beyond just games, the title also includes a brand new online version of the PictoChat messaging software.

So just what is in the package? Games range in complexity from extremely simple to advanced. Thankfully, Nintendo didn’t cut out all of the more region-specific games from Daredemo Asobi Taizen, so players have the chance to try out games like Hanafuda. Some games are presented under alternate or family-friendly names and it may not be entirely obvious what they are, so I’ve listed some alternate names here. The full list of games is as follows:

Old Maid, Spit (Speed/Slam), I Doubt It (Bullshit/Cheat), Sevens (Parliament/Fan Tan), Memory, Pig, Blackjack, Hearts, President (Asshole), Rummy, Seven Bridge, Last Card, Last Card Plus (Uno), Five Card Draw Poker, Texas Hold-Em, Nap(olean), Spades, Contract Bridge, Checkers, Chinese Checkers, Dots and Boxes, Hasami Shogi, Turncoat (Othello/Reversi), Connect Five (Gomoku), Grid Attack (Battleship), Backgammon, Chess, Shogi (Japanese Chess), Field Tactics (Stratego), Ludo (simplified Parcheesi), Soda Shake (Hot Potato), Dominoes, Koi-Koi (Hanafuda), Word Balloon (Hangman), Bowling (10-pin), Darts, Billiards (9-ball), Balance, Takeover (similar to Shuffleboard), Solitaire, Escape (Klotski/Pennant Puzzle), and Mahjong Solitaire.

Never played a particular game before or just always wanted to know how to play Backgammon? Clubhouse Games provides a helpful rule sheet, easily accessible as a button at the bottom of the screen. Additionally, tip bubbles will pop up if a move isn’t taken after a short time. Games are controlled by tapping or drag-and-drop, and valid moves are highlighted on-screen. In general, all of the games have a welcoming pick-up-and play nature that nearly anyone should be comfortable with.

Single Player mode includes three game types, free play, stamp, and mission. Free Play allows players to play any of the unlocked games. Yes, a few of the games disappointingly start out locked, against the spirit of a pick-up-and-play attitude. Each game normally has a few settings, including CPU difficulty and number, which can be changed, though some purists may be upset to find a few unchangeable variations to rules, such as the allowance of negative bankrolls and betting limits. However, for every slight annoyance, there are a dozen other solid games available.

In Stamp Mode, players must progress through each game in succession, receiving up to three stamps per game. Completion of Stamp Mode is unfortunately the only way to unlock all of the games. This can get somewhat tedious due to losing games that are more based on luck than skill. Fortunately, players still get one stamp for losing, while needing three stamps per game to move to the next game.

Mission Mode provides 30 different challenges across 25 games, some of which are no easy feat to accomplish. Examples include 3 bulls-eyes in darts, nil in Spades, completion of Memory in 3 minutes, and a 7-jump in Chinese Checkers. Completion of the challenges in this mode unlocks new avatars and other goodies.

An inherently multiplayer game package, Clubhouse Games indeed has an excellent multiplayer offering. Clubhouse Games includes single-card multiplayer with quick loading of games as well as online multiplayer of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Players can even send out the single-player games to other DS users as "gifts." All but the inherently single-player games are available for multiplayer play, from two to eight players depending on the game. Much like Yahoo Games!, Nintendo’s servers keep a leaderboard of players, which can be viewed from the Nintendo DS, giving players a longer-term playing goal.

Clubhouse Games also includes a full-fledged online upgrade to PictoChat. This version of PictoChat includes multiple pen colors, flood fill, and stamps, and can be used at any time during a game to enhance the competitive experience. Unfortunately, PictoChat is limited to local wireless and online matches with friends. For random matches, several pre-defined phrases can be sent to other players.

No more worrying about 52 card pick-up or missing pawns. Clubhouse Games provides a compelling collection for nearly everyone. With a full experience of single player modes and multiplayer capabilities, both quantity and quality are well served.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
5.5 5.5 8 9 10 9
Graphics
5.5

A step up from Windows Solitaire, the graphics generally serve their purpose with few frills. In a few games, some of the playing pieces can get hard to see and a zoom feature would have been appropriate.

Sound
5.5

Music consists of MIDI-esque “lounge" music and sound effects are tinny. Completion of Mission Mode unlocks “pop" music. Nothing great, but not ear-grating either.

Control
8

Most games consist of clicking or dragging and dropping and control is very precise. However, some of the action games like bowling and darts don’t work as well.

Gameplay
9

The sheer quantity of games almost guarantees fun. More than that, the developers picked a good selection of games and made them easy to play in quick sessions or gaming marathons.

Lastability
10

Most of the games included in the collection have withstood their own tests of time, and Clubhouse Games goes as far as to include 42 of them! With multiple single player modes, single-card multiplayer, online play, and PictoChat, this may be the most replayable game ever.

Final
9

Clubhouse Games is a must-buy entry in the Touch Generations series with its ability to provide endless diversions for nearly anyone.

Summary

Pros
  • 42 classic games
  • Online and single-card local multiplayer with chat
  • Very accessible
Cons
  • Not all games are available from the start
  • PictoChat is only available for use among friends
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorOctober 23, 2006

Quote

Clubhouse Games is a must-buy entry in the Touch Generations series with its ability to provide endless diversions for nearly anyone.


ATTENTION EVERYONE:

Go buy this game right now and add your friend code to the friend code list. This game kicks ass online.

KDR_11kOctober 23, 2006

President (Asshole)

Political commentary?

Shift KeyOctober 23, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: KDR_11k
President (Asshole)

Political commentary?


Nope, actual game. Also has a drinking version. One of the versions:

http://www.webtender.com/handbook/games/asshole.game

KnowsNothingOctober 23, 2006

YES. BUY THIS GAME. PLAY ONLINE.

goty

KDR_11kOctober 23, 2006

Yes but renaming it from Asshole to President is pretty funny. And the swear word filter doesn't want me to talk about that game :.(

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorOctober 23, 2006

I have some questions. Aaron mentions a leaderboard? How in depth is ratings that it gives? Do I have a running score in each game as I play so I can tell how good I am compared to others?

He also talked about bet limits. Does that mean there is only Limit hold 'em and not no limit? It seems that way as negative bank rolls are really possible in no limit hold 'em.

Hrmm. I still don't know if I should buy this.

vuduOctober 23, 2006

How many (if any) of the games have single system multiplayer?

The name I always heard for that game is Presidents & A$$holes. So not such a strange renaming.

Vudu, I think all the online games also have single-card multi. That would be almost all of the games except stuff like Solitaire.

I must admit that I want this game more for online PictoChat than for any of the board games.

Quote

Originally posted by: Pale
I have some questions. Aaron mentions a leaderboard? How in depth is ratings that it gives? Do I have a running score in each game as I play so I can tell how good I am compared to others?

He also talked about bet limits. Does that mean there is only Limit hold 'em and not no limit? It seems that way as negative bank rolls are really possible in no limit hold 'em.

Hrmm. I still don't know if I should buy this.


In their version of Texas Hold 'em, you can't actually choose the amount you're betting. In Blackjack and 5-card Draw, you're limited in how much you can bet per turn, but not limited by how many chips you actually have. You play a set number of games to determine the winner.


The Leaderboard gives a running score for each game as well as a worldwide rank.

Quote

Originally posted by: vudu

How many (if any) of the games have single system multiplayer?


None.

vuduOctober 23, 2006

Thanks for the attempt, Jonny, but that wasn't my question. My question was, how many (if any) of the games have single system multiplayer? Are there any games where you can simply pass the DS between players and play on the same system? Certain games don't seem like they would work with this method (poker, battleship, etc) but others (checkers, darts, etc) seem like they could work pretty well.

EDIT: MegaByte already answered my question.

Sucks that there are no single system games. I probably won't buy this now. face-icon-small-frown.gif

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorOctober 23, 2006

Ouch... worst hold 'em implementation ever.

I noticed that about 1/3 of the games in the Japanese version are different, so I'm thinking I might pick that up too, but I'm waiting to see if they do an online version like they did with Yakuman DS.

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Clubhouse Games Box Art

Genre Party/Parlor
Developer Agenda
Players1 - 8
Online1 - 8

Worldwide Releases

na: Clubhouse Games
Release Oct 09, 2006
PublisherNintendo
RatingEveryone
jpn: Daredemo Asobi Taizen
Release Nov 03, 2005
PublisherNintendo
RatingAll Ages
eu: 42 All-Time Classics
Release Sep 29, 2006
PublisherNintendo
Rating12+
aus: Clubhouse Games
Release Oct 26, 2006
PublisherNintendo
RatingParental Guidance

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