Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics Part 2: Card Games

For the second part of my Clubhouse Games run through, we’ll ‘shuffle’ through all the card games you have to ‘deal’ with.  I’m such a card with these puns!

Hanafuda

This Japanese card game is significant because making these cards was Nintendo’s main business well over a hundred years ago!  Yup, that’s how they started out.  It’s kind of a cross between a memory match game and poker, in that you must match cards based on the four seasons and you get points on how many good hands you have.  It’s a bit weird.  Well, I guess I shouldn’t say it’s weird.  Just different.  It’s hard to wrap my Western head around it.  If you play the game once, you can unlock a deck of Hanafuda cards featuring Mario characters, which is neat.  I actually have a set of real life Hanafuda playing cards with Mario on them that I got from Club Nintendo when Club Nintendo was actually cool.  It’s a bit embarrassing to admit, but I haven’t opened the box they come in because I can’t figure out how to open it!

Riichi Mahjong

Not technically a card game, since you use tiles, but it plays like a card game.  The learning curve is super high on this one, and I had no idea what I was doing.  Luckily, like Chess and Shogi on this collection, you can take step by step interactive classes to learn how to play.  I THINK this is the Mahjong game that you see a lot in Japanese arcades and there are many home console versions of this, too.  Nintendo even made one on the Famicom, and there is a sticker of it in Smash Bros. Ultimate.  Other companies made these kinds of games, too.  Psikyo was usually known for 2-D shooters but they also made a lot of Mahjong games where you play against other colorful characters.  Some were designed by Jun Tsukasa and are really neat.

Last Card

It’s just off brand UNO.  There are real life Mario and Zelda UNO sets, it would’ve been cool if they could’ve included them here.

Blackjack

Yup, that’s what it is.  Try to get as close to 21 without going over.  One neat thing is that when you play a bunch of these card games, you can unlock a deck of regular cards with Mario characters on them as well.  I wish you could’ve unlock other cards featuring characters like Zelda and Kirby.  They should’ve had an option in this game where you earned coins by playing games, and then used those coins to buy unlockables.  Such a missed opportunity.

Texas Hold ‘Em

Just a variation on poker.  I played a lot of poker in college with friends, especially in our freshman year when nobody had a car on campus.  But since we were poor college students we only bet with pennies.  That way, if you lost, you were only out a buck at most.  But if you won, you might get a free load of laundry out of it.  Remember a few years ago when poker TV shows were popular?  I never understood that.  Did you know that TellTale started out making poker games?  They made ones later that had crossover game characters you could play poker with.  In one of those games, GlaDOS from Portal was the dealer!

President

It’s a variation on UNO where you have to play a card lower or higher to get rid of your hand.  But if you are in first place and lose the next round, you get sent back to fourth place, so it’s always anyone’s game!

Sevens

Another variation on the same theme where you must play cards lower or higher than seven to get rid of your hand.

Speed

When I was in high school, playing card games in the cafeteria lunch room or band hall was a popular thing to do, and almost everyone I knew carried around a deck of cards just for the occasion.  Speed was a popular game for us high schoolers to play.  You and another player must play cards higher or lower than the pile to get rid of your hand, but you must do it quickly in real time!  I was never very good at this one because I was never fast enough.  That includes here.

Matching

Just the classic memory match game where you must flip over cards to get a match and remember where they are.  Great game to get for young kids, and it’s also seen in many a bonus game in other video games, like Mario 3.  After you play it here, you can even unlock a set of memory match cards featuring Mario.  Again, a missed opportunity to have Zelda, Kirby, or other Nintendo properties to match.

War

Oh man, I played this one all the time when I was little.  Since it’s so simple, it’s a good card game to play with younger kids.  You and an opponent play a card, and whoever is higher keeps both.  If you have the same cards, you get to flip over up to three others until one gets the highest, and then they keep all those cards!  Whoever has the most cards at the end, wins.  Such a fun one.

Takoyaki

You take the cards ace through ten and arrange them in a 5×2 rectangle face down and the other player does the same.  Then you draw cards and if you get the same number you can flip the card in your set over.  When all the cards are flipped over, you win.  So why is it called Takoyaki?  Well, Takoyaki is a Japanese treat, a piece of octopus cooked in a dough ball.  The pan they are cooked in is like how the cards are arranged in this game, and when they are all flipped, they’re cooked.  Takoyaki is a popular dish served at Japanese festivals and such, and many video games showcase them, like Cooking Mama and Taiko Drum Master.  I tried Takoyaki once at a restaurant.  It’s OK I guess.  It wasn’t gross, but nothing I’d crave again.

Pig’s Tail

You arrange the cards in a circle, like a pig’s tail, and pick one and place it in the middle.  The other player does the same, and must put that card on top of the pile, but only if it’s the same number or suit.  If not, then they must take the whole pile.  When you run out of cards in the curl, whoever has the least amount of cards, wins.  I imagine it would be hard to arrange the cards in a perfect circle like they do in the game.

Mahjong Solitaire

This is probably the Mahjong game most people in the US know.  You match tiles, but can only match ones that aren’t between any others.  This one is neat because there are dozens of stages and arrangements to try with varying difficulty levels.  And you can also turn on an assist mode that makes playable tiles easier to see.

Klondike Solitaire

Of course you can’t have a card game collection without solitaire!  Perfect for playing when you need to kill some time.  Oh man, on the Nintendo 3DS, there was a fun downloadable game called Pocket Card Jockey that combined solitaire with…horse racing?!?  Yeah, and it was so fun.  I got really addicted to it and if they would re-release it for Switch or mobile devices (which it would be perfect for), I’d totally get it again.  The neat thing about that game was it was made by GameFreak, makers of Pokemon.  So a lot of the horse’s names you raced against made reference to Pokemon, with names like Bulba Soarer, Volt Tackle, etc.

Spider Solitaire

And last is another variation of solitaire, just a bit harder.  And those are all the card games!  For the final part we’ll look at the misc. games on this collection.  That’s all for now!  Later!  –Cary

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