Game Over Online ~ Trickhand

GameOver Game Reviews - Trickhand (c) Birdsoft, Reviewed by - Fwiffo

Game & Publisher Trickhand (c) Birdsoft
System Requirements Pocket PC
Overall Rating 80%
Date Published Wednesday, December 19th, 2001 at 05:25 PM

Divider Left By: Fwiffo Divider Right

Solitaire must be one of the most played games on any Windows operating system, including the Pocket PC. I remember last summer when I brought my iPaq home, I lent it to my brother to play around with it. I had it outfitted with Transcriber and a bunch of really cool applications. You could play songs with Windows Media Player or write notes with your own handwriting. I left my brother alone with the iPaq for ten minutes only to return to see him playing Solitaire.

There is something innately fun about card games that can probably never be described. Trickhand brings you two games in one: Euchre and Dirty Clubs. If those don't strike you, I wouldn't be worried, as it didn't strike me too much. But the actual gameplay is not too far away from the traditional Bridge. You have partners that you can work with or opt not to work with. The game revolves around special trump cards and suits so the mechanics aren't too different from Bridge or, to a lesser extent, Hearts. The scoring, however, is a lot different.

If you have any inkling of experience with card games, a thorough reading of the help file will brief you on everything. Even then, the interface to play is pretty intuitive. If you can handle solitaire, this should be a cinch. Moreover, you can even set the game into training mode which lets you see all the hands in play. This makes learning the game slightly easier and the AI opponents sometimes make some pretty clever moves. You can set the AI to a number of playing levels and the differences are noticeable too. The gameplay is fast and the there are options to speed the AI up even quicker. This isn't one of those games where you spend one minute waiting for the AI to make their move.

What is a bit lacking in Trickhand is its presentation. The visuals, although serviceable and informative, are a bit Spartan in style. The developers have included the ability to customize table colour but it would have been nice to see some more visual flare. Moreover, the title includes no audio component. With so many different types of events in Trickhand, it would have been nice to have some audio cues, for example when you win a point. Better yet, a persistent soundtrack would have added much to the experience.

With that said, it's natural to understand that Trickhand is very compatible with a wide range of Windows CE devices including older Windows CE 2.11 and all the major Pocket PC brands. The software package is small and the installation is a breeze so that even novices will appreciate its simplicity. Those who are wholly unfamiliar with terms like trump suits or trump cards will find it a bit difficult to pick up from the attached documentation. However, the price should not scare anyone away. In the end, it should satisfy most card game fans. The presentation may not be as sharp as some of the more expensive competition but it does its job well.

[08/10] Addictiveness
[17/20] Gameplay
[10/15] Graphics
[09/10] Interface/controls
[10/10] Program Size
[ N/A ] Sound
[05/05] Discreetness
[09/15] Learning Curve
[ N/A ] Multiplayer


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