Game Over Online ~ Groovy Bunch of Games

GameOver Game Reviews - Groovy Bunch of Games (c) 3DO, Reviewed by - Trent Vaughn

Game & Publisher Groovy Bunch of Games (c) 3DO
System Requirements Windows 9x, Pentium 166, 16MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 55%
Date Published Thursday, September 7th, 2000 at 09:16 PM

Divider Left By: Trent Vaughn Divider Right

Far out man. 3DO, creators of the Army Men, Might & Magic, and Heroes of Might & Magic series, among other titles, have put together a compilation of 68 fab games in their all-new Groovy Bunch of Games collection. Once you peel past all the righteous lingo and hip paraphernalia, Groovy Bunch of Games is little more than an ensemble of shareware quality games that will have you loading up Mindsweep again in no time.

Groovy Bunch of Games features an assortment of games ranging from casino games to board games. Here's a rundown of the offerings:

  • Solitaire - 6 variations including the ever-popular Klondike and Scorpion.
  • Board Games - Chess, Backgammon, Reversi, Dominoes, Checkers
  • Box Battles - 10 variations
  • Memory - 6 variations
  • Puzzle - 5 variations
  • Video Poker - 5 machines
  • Slots - 5 machines
  • Card Games - Spades, Hearts, Old Maid, Crazy Eights, Go Fish, Blackjack

    In the single player mode, you begin by selecting from one of eight characters to play as. Each of the characters begins with 5000 points as you choose which game you wish to play. Points are obtained by winning your selected game. Some of the games, such as the Video Poker and Slot Machines, are based on how much you're willing to bet on each hand / spin. Others games, such as the board or card games, are based on the difficulty level you set for the computer opponent. The higher the skill level you select, the more points that are put on the line.

    Graphically, Groovy Bunch of Games is a very colourful title in a psychedelic kind of way. The maximum resolution is 640x480, so don't expect a whole lot of detail in terms of environments and pieces in play. The entire layout is extremely basic and simple, designed to allow gamers to get in and out quickly. When you win or lose at a particular game, a little animation pops onto the screen as Disco Joe either does a little jig, or gets bitch slapped so to speak. While the visuals are passable, the audio is less than appealing. There are about a dozen 'hip' sayings that are uttered throughout the menus or games themselves, and they become repetitive rather quickly. There's no music to speak off, which is a bit of a surprise considering the theme of the game.

    The problem with Groovy Bunch of Games lies in its overall appeal. For starters, while 3DO boasts 68 different games, many of them are simply cosmetic variations of existing games. For example, there are 6 Memory games but each features the same mixture of cards, the only difference lies in the background used. The same can be said for the Puzzle games as only the environments change with each so-called variation. The Video Poker and Slot Machines are similar. While the machines themselves are different, there's little difference in terms of payoff or the type of game itself. If you eliminate all those factors, you're left with much less than 68 games. That's not to say that there isn't a nice variety of mini-games here, because there is, but many of them are readily available as shareware and don't need to be purchased as a package for $20 US. In fact, it wasn't long before I was exiting Groovy Bunch of Games in favour of one of those shareware desktop games.

    The interface in Groovy Bunch of Games is, at times, less than desirable, especially while playing one of the card games. The cards act as though they're floating in the air. In a game of hearts, in particular, choosing three cards to pass to an opponent was a difficult task since upon selecting the first card, it was brought to the forefront and made it impossible to see a number of the remaining cards. The interface is for the most part, rather simple and easy-to-learn, but the card game section is not very efficient. As well, although it might seem unlikely considering how simple many of these games are, if you aren't familiar with any one game or variation, there's no built-in help menu or rules of play.

    Groovy Bunch of Games does feature multiplayer via the Hot Seat mode. You can play any of the board games available minus Dominoes, any of a wide selection of Box Battles or Memory Games as well as Blackjack.

    Groovy Bunch of Games is a simple collection of all-time favourites featuring a 70's backdrop. Many of the games, as mentioned earlier, are available in shareware modes although obviously not as conveniently packaged as they are here. As a collection of desktop card, board and casino games, Groovy Bunch of Games is somewhat satisfying, but unless the games listed in this compilation are high on your priority list, I'd stick with Microsoft's bundle, if not your own shareware collection.


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