Amstrad Action1st September 1986
Published in Amstrad Action #12
At £4.95 this game is neither one price nor the other, which is a shame because it would be good as a real budget title. It's a compilation of seven games of Patience and a game of Blackjack, which load in two sections. The first side contains Column, Clock, Row and Pairs Patience, and the second has Carpet, Raglan, Sultan Patience and Blackjack.
The seven games of Patience are all fairly well known, but for those who aren't familiar with them there are instructions on how to play them. Each one is played on a single screen with an appropriate green background and easy to identify cards. In all the games the computer does the hard work of shuffling, dealing and moving cards around, leaving you to decide where the cards should go.
All the games are well laid out and easy to follow and every bit as brain calming as Patience games usually are. Blackjack can be played by one to three players with the house as dealer. It's played exactly as in a casino, and the house certainly doesn't let its money go easily.
The key question is - why buy this and not a much cheaper pack of cards? The main thing it's got going for it is that you don't need the space for laying out all the cards and there's no danger of having them scattered all over the place. It also stops you cheating, which I've always considered half the fun of Patience, after all who's to know? Not a bad little package of games but I'd still like to have seen it £2 or £3 cheaper.
It's quite nicely presented, but it's really no match for the real thing, half-price or no. Buy a pack of cards and a good Patience book and save your Amstrad for Starstrike II.
As far as I'm concerned, if you want to play card games buy a pack of cards.
Green Screen View
I miss the red and black of the real thing myself - but you can still tell cards apart okay.
P. Seven games of patience and blackjack.
P. Good screen design.
P. No mess and all the hard work done for you.
P. Very soothing.
N. Except for Blackjack you could play them all for the price of a pack of cards.
N. You can't cheat!