Quantity doesn't always mean quality but thankfully, Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics is here to prove that you can have both.
I'm a sucker for game compilations. From nifty video game collections to goofy Wii shovelware; I enjoy jumping between tons of games in a single sitting. It might be due to my ADD or simply because I love all sorts of games or a combination of the 2 but whatever the reason, I'm always excited to enjoy the next video game compilation. With that in mind, allow me to say right off the bat that Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics is the best casual game collection that I've ever played. Upon booting it up, my first impression was nothing short of delight and after I enjoyed the games for hours upon hours, my enthusiasm remained intact which is an incredibly rare phenomenon as I'm sure you know if you have read any of my reviews for similar games. Anyway, what makes this as cool as it is? Let's dive in!
Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics includes a wide range of games. First, there are board games such as Chess, Chinese Checkers, Backgammon, and you'll even find some dice games and pen and paper games, too. One such game that I love is the simple Dots and Boxes and I have fond memories of playing it with my mom when I was in the hospital as a kid. Plus, I enjoyed learning how to play Asian games such as Shogi and Hanafuda which many westerners like me may not be immediately familiar with. Next up, you can play a bunch of card games that range from Solitaire to Blackjack and there's even Uno but it's called Last Card here which is pretty funny; I'm sure it's due to legal reasons but a lot of games have odd names in this collection. Finally, there are some mini-games that I'll discuss later.
Enjoying all of these classic games in 1 package is an absolute treat and what makes the collection even more special is the fact that it's as beautifully presented as it is. The games themselves are fantastic-looking complete with detailed yet streamlined visuals and they each play at a steady yet deliberate pace. This is important because you won't get impatient and at the same time, things aren't so fast that you'll lose track of what's going on. When selecting a new game, some game pieces will put on a little sketch about it which is lovely and often humorous. These ladies and gents will also occupy a Guide Globe where you can talk to them in order to play collections of specific genres and unlock goodies such as new card deck themes. Of course, all of that adds a wonderful sense of personality.
Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics can be enjoyed either solo or multiplayer with up to 4 local or online chums. The multiplayer component is handled intuitively and there are some cool features as well. For starters, you can keep playing solo as you wait for online folks to join you in your favourite games. There's also a cool Mosaic Mode which allows you to set various Switch consoles next to each other in order to do things like create a virtual music band or a rockin' synthesizer. Additionally, you'll unlock plenty of nifty features as you play such as medals and high scores for each game, trivia, and characters so mastering everything will take quite a long time.
Although I love Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics and can't wait to play it online when the community is more populated, it does have a few downsides. First, a lot of the challenges which award medals are either too easy or too difficult. I far surpassed many of them without even trying while I tried my darnedest to achieve others and couldn't no matter how well I played. Similarly, the AI is highly unpredictable and inconsistent. You can set their difficulty level and generally speaking, the Normal setting is quite easy but anything beyond that often feels random. For example, I played 1 game against a Hard difficulty CPU player about a dozen times in a row only to get severely beat half the time and win by a huge margin the other times. Shouldn't we be more consistently evenly matched?
Last but not least, allow me to discuss the more original creations which generally fall into the mini-game category. Such games include a tricky puzzle game with marbles called 6-Ball Puzzle, a Shooting Gallery, tabletop Battle Tanks, and toy versions of Boxing, Baseball, Curling, and more. These games definitely stand out by being unique experiences but at the same time, quite a few of them simply aren't all that fun. I enjoyed games like 6-Ball Puzzle and the Sliding Puzzle where you have to guide a toy turtle a great deal but games such as the Shooting Gallery and Fishing are very simplistic and lack a sense of challenge. I wish there was more to games like those.
Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics is sure to provide hours of entertainment whether you prefer playing solo, online, or with local chums. Seeing as it's bursting with tons of enjoyable games, this is one must-have collection.
- + Contains dozens of fantastic classic games that are great fun to learn and play
- + Beautiful presentation and cool extras
- + Intuitive and comprehensive multiplayer
- - Many challenges have either far too easy or far too difficult goals
- - AI is rather inconsistent
- - Some of the original creations aren't fun