Hoyle Blackjack & Craps
by Vivendi UIP
Card games have always been big business. A day never goes past without fortunes being won or lost in some part of the world. Popularity has never waned from generation to generation. Even now in this world of high technology one of the most played PC games is the Solitaire game that comes bundled with Windows. But Solitaire is one of many card games so how do you go about playing these other varieties? Well a trip to the local software shop will present you with many variations on classic games such as Poker & Cribbage to name but two. But which ones do you pick? Thankfully when quality is considered you can narrow the choices down to two 2 brands, Microsoft and Hoyle (from Vivendi/Sierra).
Hoyle Blackjack & Craps is a fantastic representation of the games of Blackjack, Craps & Pai Gow Poker (included as a bonus). Graphically there is not too much to choose between these games although the Hoyle games are slightly superior to the Microsoft versions. I must make it clear that I was unaware of the rules for these games and I can honestly say that it was very easy to learn the rules. A simple tap of the F1 key brings up a help directory from which the easily explained rules of the desired game are only a click away.
Blackjack comes in four varieties which are Downtown Vegas, Las Vegas Strip, Atlantic City and Reno. You can even modify the rules to make your own custom variation of Blackjack. Both Pai Gow Poker and Craps allow you to modify many aspects of the rules. You can play all the games in tournament modes as well as practice mode. They all have offer tutorial advice which stays on until you feel comfortable enough to turn it off. One major plus point for the Hoyle card games over the other card games is that you actually feel that you can learn games that are unfamiliar to you. The Microsoft versions usually don't offer enough help and you usually end up avoiding the games that you can't grasp.
As you can imagine these games are suitable for deaf gamers. There is some AI character banter that takes place and is not subtitled but it really is insignificant to the playing of the game and all the important information is textually displayed. If you are into card games on your PC and you want more than the Solitaire and Hearts that Windows provides then give the Hoyle card games a try, you'll be impressed. If Blackjack, Craps or Pai Gow Poker is your cup of tea then this pack is a must.
Overall Game Rating: 8.1/10 Outstanding value and a great representation of the three games.
Quality of text: 8/10 It covers everything that it needs to.
Graphics: 7.5/10 Card games don't need fancy graphics and the graphics used here do the job perfectly.
Interface: 8/10 A clean and simple interface.
Gameplay: 9/10 The limitless gameplay is fantastic.