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
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.
[10/10] Program Size
[ N/A ] Sound
[09/15] Learning Curve
[ N/A ] Multiplayer