Chris Sell
01 Nov, 2006

42 All-Time Classics Review

DS Review | Also known as Clubhouse Games.
With the touchscreen the DS has, Nintendo’s handheld has long been crying out for a piece of software with a few card games or a selection of board games to play. Finally our prayers have been answered with the recent release of 42 All Time Classics/Clubhouse Games which just so happens to offer plenty of both and more.

There are great deal (no pun intended) of card games to sink your teeth into here. Solitaire, Pig, Blackjack, Hearts, Rummy, Five Card Draw Poker, Last Card (Uno) and Texas Hold ‘Em just to name a few plus a good deal more. The selection of Board Games on offer is equally vast. Chess, Checkers, Ludo, Dominoes and Backgammon all make an appearance along with things like Hangman and Battleships. There are also a few extra games in the form of Darts, Bowling and Billiards.

As you would expect from the kind of games on offer everything is controlled via the stylus so the whole package is very simple to play, thanks also to the straightforward menu layout. The single player game is split into 3 different sections. The first is Free Play, which is exactly what it sounds like in that you can play whatever games you currently have unlocked. The second is Stamp mode, which is what you’ll need to play through to unlock games in the first place. Here you play each game in order to earn enough stamps to unlock the next. With 3 stamps for a win and even 1 stamp for a loss it doesn’t take long to work your way through. It’s very straightforward but it does a good job of teaching you how to play them all, which is a good thing considering there are bound to be games here you’ve never played before.

The pub games are a little disappointing...

The third mode, Mission, is for the more experienced player. Containing 30 challenges you have to complete games under certain conditions. These can range from getting 3 bull’s-eyes in a row on Darts, completing Solitaire within a time limit, potting 3 balls with 2 shot in Billiards or even winning a game of Checkers by 10 or more pieces. Few of these are easy so it should take some time to beat them all.
With 42 games on offer you would expect there to be a few stinkers in there and you wouldn’t be wrong. Billiards is ridiculously simple and nowhere near as good as it could have been. Would simply replicating something as simple as Yahoo Pool really be hard to do? Darts and Bowling suffer too as they’re not really suited to the hardware and also due to the fact it’s so easy to cheat on them using a ruler or the edge of a pen as a straight line for a guide. Battleships is somewhat ruined too by the use of single square ‘ships’. The game is already a predominately random one as it is, but looking for a single block in a 7x7 grid is nothing more than chance. A lot of the card games are a little over-simplified too and suffer from limited options but are perfectly enjoyable once you’re accustomed to those limitations.

But all these complaints can be forgiven for how well this works in Multiplayer. Not only does it support up to 8 players, not only can you do single-cart sharing with multiple DS’s but it’s also fully wi-fi compatible for all but a small handful of the 42 games on offer. The best thing of all is how well it works and how easy it is play with friends. Once your ‘friend codes’ have been exchanged you can do a simple friend search and you’ll be able to see and any of your friends currently online. There’s no Mario Kart-like confusion here, everything is quick and simple.

There are plenty of card games on offer.

While the game doesn’t support voice communication it does however use a built-in version of Pictochat that runs itself in the background as you play. It’s ideal for some light-hearted banter and, of course, taunting people when you win. And really, what better way is there to put off your opponent during a game of Chess than to send oddly shaped phallic doodles? The only real complaint that could be found of the online multiplayer is the inability to resume a game if one of you has a connection error and drops out. Having been an hour into a game of Chess only for not being able to continue the game after my friend to drop out through an unknown connection error is very annoying. But on the whole the game seems the most stable online DS game to date so thankfully this is little more than a minor problem at the most.

Despite its problems, given the amount of content here and its price point it’s very hard not to recommend this game highly. Some of the games could have done with a bit of polish, while a few others don’t really work that well at all, but on the whole there’s a lot here to be happy about. This is the kind of game that does exactly what it sets out to do and whether you intend playing alone, or with a group of DS-owning friends, there’s plenty here for your money.
The Score
To quote a famous wood-stain TV advert slogan – ‘It does exactly what it says on the tin.’ 8
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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1 Comment
7 years ago
I was actually waiting for PALGN's review before I got this... I'll make it the next title I buy (after Gyakuten Saiban 2). icon_smile.gif
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Wi-Fi enabled
Single cart multiplayer

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