E3 2006: Ready To Slam Some Ivories?
From bowling to dominoes, there's something for everyone
Who else hates losing a piece to the checker board as much as I do? You either end up buying a whole new board, or substituting that lost checker piece for some ghetto wannabe piece like a bottle cap or a quarter, you know how it is. Well now there's no need to worry about losing the pieces to your favorite traditional pastimes, thanks to Clubhouse Games for the Nintendo DS.
Gamers can participate in over 20 different classic board games, party games and card games, and rest assured there's at least one game in there that everyone's bound to love. Me personally, I love checkers, and I love to flaunt the fact of making it to the kings row, or whenever I triple jump my opponent. The nice thing about playing someone with a traditional board in person is that you can taunt your opponents directly after making a nice move. Console renditions of these games kind of lose their charm, the personal factor if you will, during their translation to the digital world. Developer, Agenda, is setting out to change this with a Picto-Chat styled communication system that makes taunting your opponent easy, no matter what game you're playing.
During my brief stint with the title, I was able to play both darts, and checkers. Darts made a very good use of the DS touch screen, and if any of you reading this are serious about darts, you know there's a lot of technique required to be successful. Surprisingly, the DS successfully translates this technique, as it took a lot more effort than just randomly sliding the stylus near the dartboard to be effective. Checkers played nice as well, although I smoke the computer who was set on easy mode at the time. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to check out the varying levels of difficulty, but judging from how much polish the game already has, there's bound to be a decent challenge in the making.
If it weren't for the fact that the basic premise of the game is extremely simple, Clubhouse Games would probably be in contention for my game of the show. Simply put, this game is a parlor nut's dream come true, with a plethora of titles, accurately represented, on the gorgeous DS Lite screen. My main concern is that the Agenda will fail to get this game up and running on Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. If Clubhouse Games ends up being a strictly offline, ad-hoc affair, that'll be a real shame. From dominoes to darts, to my favorite game, checkers, this title has the potential to be extremely popular if they make the move and put it online. Agenda, are you listening?