If there’s one game for the DS that truly has something for everyone, it’s Clubhouse Games. This all-in-one title from Agenda was originally developed as “42 All-Time Classics” in . Just as the Japanese title implies, this one cartridge packs in 42 card, board and variety games into one very reasonable buy at an MSRP of $29.99. What do you get with Clubhouse Games?
* Card games: Old Maid, Spit, I Doubt It, Sevens, Memory, Pig, Blackjack, Hearts, President, Rummy, Seven Bridge, Last Card, Last Card Plus, Five Card Draw, Texas hold ’em, Nap, Spades and Contract Bridge.
* Board games: Chinese checkers, Checkers, Dots and Boxes, Hasami shogi, Turncoat, Connect Five, Grid Attack, Backgammon, Chess, Shogi, Field Tactics and Ludo.
* Variety games: Soda Shake, Dominoes, Koi-Koi and Word Balloon.
* Action games: Bowling, Darts, Billiards, Balance and Takeover.
* Single player games: Solitaire, Escape and Mahjong Solitaire.
It’s important for any handheld gaming system to have a decent stable of games that you can start quickly and finish quickly—the perfect staple for the doctor’s office waiting room or airport terminal. Clubhouse Games fits the bill. Most of these games are long-time classics that anyone will readily recognize and already know how to play. Kids and adults alike will enjoy simple board games like Checkers and Connect Five, though younger kids may find the accuracy required for success at bowling and darts to be frustrating. Mahjong and Solitaire become infinitely more enjoyable when paired with the DS’s stylus and touchscreen, which allows the similar dexterity to the mouse clicking action many are used to when playing these classics on the PC.
Another major selling point for Clubhouse Games (if 42 games isn’t enough to entertain you on your own) is the extensive Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection support. Out of all the available games, only Old Maid, Spit, I Doubt It, Solitaire, Escape and Mahjong Solitaire are unavailable for online play. That means you can go head-to-head against other Clubhouse Games owners at the poker table, chess, and tons of other popular choices.
Clubhouse Games is, above all, a family choice. It’s high on fun, novelty, and re-playability with its wide selection of kid-friendly games and WI-FI matchups, though the audio and graphics aren’t the best the DS has to offer. If you and your friends all have a DS, or if you’re about to take a long car trip with your kids, Clubhouse Games provides hours of multiplayer gaming for a reasonable price. Clubhouse Games is one of the best-selling games on the Nintendo DS for a reason—it really packs a punch.