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Croker Review

Developer: CrazySoft Publisher: CrazySoft
Release Date: January 21, 2005 Also On: None

Card games were a thing of the past. At least until electronic video game makers had something to say. First came the $5 handheld cheapie poker games, using displays that only calculators couldn’t outdo (excluding expensive graphing calculators). Then came the online revolution of gaming from sites like Pogo. Video poker, bridge, Euchre, etc. are all popular online card games. Finally, the consoles got poker with the release of World Championship Poker on all three major platforms. Now, it’s time for your Zodiac to get a poker variation in the form of Croker.

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Croker is a game that takes advantage of the Zodiac’s full screen. In other words, there’s no graffiti area to waste screen space. The main menu displays the three game types (easy, hard, and bet mania), options, and hi-scores. From the options menu you can turn on/off sound, choose deck type, turn on/off vibration, select a game speed, etc. Hi-scores gives the top 5 hi-scores for each three game types. You are also given instructions on how to play each game, as prompted by a pop-up window, when you select a mode.

The first game mode, easy, has you pair groups of cards. Once the groups are played, new cards replace the cards used. There are five cards. Flip the cards by pressing the stylus on the screen, then press deal. You’ll be dealt new cards for the ones that you flipped. In this style, the game feels like 5 card stud, with ‘unlimited’ deals. You do have a life bar, which when it runs out, the game ends. The difference between hard mode and easy is simple. The gameplay is a lot harder, and that with every second that passes, you lose life on your life bar.

By getting matches, you gain points and the life bar increases. Cards that flicker give you extra points. The higher the card is, the more points you will gain, if you match it. For instance, a pair of deuces will be lower in point value than a pair of tens. 2 pairs, 3 of a kind, full house, and 4 of a kind are the ways in which you can group cards to gain points.

The final game mode in Croker is called Bet Mania. The rules are simple: bet the percentage of your points and hope to God that you make the right call. Your objective is to predict whether the next card will be higher, lower, or equal to a card that is displayed on the screen. You then can bet anywhere from 10% to 100% of your points. You’re also given a risk level. I like to refer to this game as the Price is Right game mode. It’s addictive, so get ready for many hours of guessing.

Croker provides a competent alternative to poker, with a Crazy Soft twist on the game. There’s not a whole lot of strategy to it, but there is enough, despite the luck factor, that the game can still remain enjoyable. For on-the-go gamers (or college students, like myself), this is a great alternative to reading a magazine while waiting for a ride.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 8.5
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 7.9
Written by Kyle Review Guide