Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics Part 1: Board Games

Nintendo recently came out with a collection of board and card games for the Switch called Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics.  I wanted to go through all the games briefly and share my personal impressions, but there are so many of them we’ll have to split this up into three parts with a wrap up at the end for the holiday weekend.  So first we’ll look at the board games in this collection!

Mancala

Supposedly this is one of the oldest board games in existence.  You and your opponent have little holes on each side and marbles go in each one.  You move marbles around and drop one off in each hole until you run out of marbles in all but the last big hole on your side.  Whoever has the most marbles in their last hole at the end, wins.  I had a little trouble understanding this one so I didn’t win.

Dots and Boxes

This is the little game you see in every kid’s activity and coloring book ever made.  Make lines on a dot filled board and when you make a square, you get to fill it in and get a point.  The arcade game Do Run Run! reminds me of this game.

Yacht Dice

It’s just Yahtzee.  I don’t like this poker dice game very much, but I do have a Pac-Man Yahtzee where Pac-Man is the dice shaker.  They make Mario, Donkey Kong, and Zelda Yahtzee games, why couldn’t they have put those on here?

Four-in-a Row

It’s just Connect Four.  I’ve always loved this game ever since I was a little kid, and it’s been one of my all time favorite board games.  There’s a really cool giant arcade game of this, too.  I even remember the old commercial. “Pretty sneaky, sis.”

Hit and Blow

Oh what a horrible name for this game!  You have to guess the arrangement of colored pegs with clues and have so many times to do so.  I knew I’ve seen this game before as a board game, and when I did some research, turns out the game is called Mastermind.

Nine Men’s Morris

This is an old Roman strategy game where you place marbles on a field and when you get three in a row, you get to take out one of your opponent’s marbles until they only have two left.  I didn’t do too well on this one.

Hex

You place pieces on a hexagonal playfield until you get a ‘road’ from one side to another.  But you must also keep your opponent from making a line from one end to the other as well.  I at least beat the computer on normal.

Checkers

I’ve always liked Checkers and have enjoyed playing it with family and friends throughout the years.  I like it a heck of a lot more than Chess anyway.  Easier to understand, too.  They make Nintendo themed Checkers in real life, why couldn’t they have put them in here, too?

Hare and Hounds

This is a simple and quick strategy board game where you play as either the hare or hounds.  The hare can move in any direction but you only get one.  There are three hounds but they only move forward.  The hare wins if he gets to the other end, but the hounds win if they block his escape.  I didn’t do too well on this one, but it is a nice quick game if you only have a few minutes.

Gomoku

I thought this would be the Japanese game “Go” but it isn’t.  It uses the same pieces and board, though.  It’s kind of like a cross between Connect Four (more like Connect Five here), and Go.  Go is such a popular game in Japan that there was even an anime about it.  And like in Chess, you shout out a word in Go when you are about to win.  You know what that word is?  “Atari!”

Dominoes

No you don’t set them up and knock them down here.  It’s the other Dominoes game where you match up numbers for points and try to get rid of your ‘deck.’  I remember seeing people play this game a lot at church when I was a kid.  I’m not too terribly good at it on this game, though.

Chinese Checkers

I never liked this game much as a kid, because back then I remember seeing this game EVERYWHERE.  Kids wanted to play it all the time so I got sick of it, and every birthday party I went to, that kid would get it as a present and be super excited about it.  I never understood why, though.  The game’s not even Chinese!  In today’s world where everything you do is considered ‘racist,’ I wonder if people would consider this game racist as well.

Ludo

It’s just a variation of Pachisi.  Or Parchisi in some places.  I think the closest commercial game that this is like is “Sorry.”  My mom used to love playing Parchisi with her grandmother so it’s a special board game for her.  I got her a copy of this game as well, by the way.

Backgammon

Ever since I was little, I’ve always wanted to learn how to play Backgammon.  The design of the board just looked appealing to me, I guess.  But I was also too lazy to learn how to play the traditional way.  Luckily it’s on this collection so I was able to learn.  They give you instructions for each game on here, which is nice.  After playing it, I have to say it didn’t blow me away or anything, but I am glad to have the opportunity to learn something new.

Renegade

It’s just “Othello” or “Reversi” or “Attax” in the arcade or the NES 7up Spot game.  No matter what it is, though, I’ve never been very good at it.

Chess

You want to know how I learned how to play chess?  Well when I was little, there was a computer game called Battle Chess.  It was fairly popular if I remember correctly, and I wanted to see all the animations of the pieces when they ‘killed’ the other pieces, so that’s how I learned how to play chess.  Another thing I learned about the game is that I don’t like chess!  Here it’s just a standard no-frills chess game, and I don’t know how hard the computer gets for expert players because I’m awful at chess.  But one cool thing is that they have step by step lessons on how to play, since chess is a bit more complicated.  But if you want to learn how to play, this is a great way to do it.  Heck, even I learned a few things I didn’t know and/or forgot!  Only thing I wish is that they let you unlock new pieces.  Like how about a Mario or Zelda chess set?  That would make me want to play it more!  For some reason, now I have “One Night at Bangkok” stuck in my head.

Shogi

You’ve probably seen Shogi pieces in other games and not even known it, like in Animal Crossing or Katamari Damacy.  It’s basically Japanese Chess.  The rules and pieces are different, but you know what I mean.  Like the chess game on here, there are also step by step lessons on how to play, since it’s more complicated.  I do like that they added alphabet letters along with the Japanese symbols so I can tell what’s what.

Mini Shogi

This is just a smaller, quicker version of Shogi with less pieces.  And that’s pretty much it.  Next time we’ll look at all the card games on this collection!  Later!  –Cary

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