I’m a fan of the Clubhouse Games. The original Nintendo DS 2005 is an excellent collection of analog games from around the world. He adapted classics like chess and dominoes in a way that made them fun to learn and satisfying to master. Now the series is back with Clubhouse Games: 51 world classics for Switch. And like the original, this follow-up makes digital versions of the classic board games a pleasure.
Clubhouse Games launches June 5 for $ 40. And it does what it says on the box. You get 51 traditional games and toys. You will recognize backgammon, checkers and yacht dice (Yahtzee). And you might end up learning takoyaki or minishogi. Whether you are familiar with the games or not, Nintendo has polished them until they shine like a jewel. And it’s a huge part of the appeal of this collection.
What you will like
Clubhouse Games has a first class presentation
A set of board games and generic cards does not seem exciting. And in different hands, this would not be the case. But Nintendo has done a wonderful job of presenting each game with so much love and care. Sound and images combine to create tantalizing games.
Games like mancala and Chinese checkers take place on shimmering wooden boards. And when you place the pieces of marble in a slot, the sound of a smooth material sliding in the grooves of the wood is incredible. It gives weight to the action.
But the elegant presentation extends beyond the room. One of the ways to progress in Clubhouse Games is to meet different characters seated around a globe. Each of these people has a different theme and a different combination of games. Shivam, for example, likes games with high scores like darts, bowling and toy football.
And every time you start a game, you get a short, fun introductory scene. The characters joke among themselves on learning the rules and the history of shogi, hexagon and the rest. Like everything else, these sketches exceed a high quality threshold that makes you want to try each game.
Fun to play without disturbing anything
Clubhouse games don’t just consist of superimposing fanciful graphics on the games you already have on your shelf. The game just does a great job of spreading. The controls are simple and intuitive. Each game has the possibility to play against the CPU with different levels of difficulty. When the processor disappears, you can clearly see its movements, but it also passes quickly, so you don’t have to wait.
You don’t have to worry about the configuration or movement of the parts. Clubhouse Games will do it for you. This makes learning new games even easier.
It’s the best way to take a board game shelf with you everywhere
Even if you have chess or ludo on your shelf, Clubhouse Games has obvious advantages. You probably don’t have all the games in the collection. And even if you do, removing them can be painful.
Clubhouse Games eliminates all of these concerns and puts them in portable packaging. You can take a stack of games with you to play on the plane or in the van (if we start again).
Local multiplayer allows you to switch a single system back and forth for many games. Or you can even play something like air hockey with two people holding each side of the Switch. If you have multiple Switch systems, you don’t need multiple copies of Clubhouse Games. One copy is enough, and anyone can download the data they need to participate for free.
If you don’t have friends or family, jump online. You can play with your Switch friends or with complete strangers.
What you will not like
Touchscreen controls are substandard
One of the main differences between Club House Games for DS and this game for Switch is that Nintendo designed the old one for the touch screen. You can say that this version is for a TV and a gamepad. And that’s fine most of the time. I prefer it. But some games do not work with a controller.
Darts is a touch screen or motion control game. And throwing a dart is great. Everything else suffers. The interface no longer adapts now that you are using a finger. Screen prompts act like buttons, but they don’t look like buttons. The “Cancel” button is just text and it doesn’t appear to be something you interact with by touching.
I played several yacht dice games with my wife, and it took us a while to figure this out. When performing local multiplayer on a single system, you must use touch controls. So I couldn’t just press the “A” button to roll the dice. The on-screen instructions only had pointing arrows. I thought I was supposed to slide the dice on the playing field, but it worked often.
Finally, I realized that I just had to hit the dice cup. But understanding this has been a frustrating process.
It hurts to become good in “solved games”
My only other complaint is not really a problem with Clubhouse Games itself. It’s just a problem with these kinds of games. It’s fun to improve in something like hex. It’s a game where you try to connect a path from side to side – during this time, your opponent tries to do the same with a path that crosses in front of you.
As I went from a “beginner” difficulty to an “impossible” difficulty in hex, I optimized my strategy. And in the end, it was obvious that the hex had an obvious correct playing method. The term for this is “solved game” and hex is one of the many games resolved in this bundle.
In a solved game, if each person plays optimally, you will always end up with the same result. In hex, player one always wins.
It hurts to develop a skill and then realize that it’s not something you can apply in the future. In chess, two players can continue to hurry to improve endlessly. In hex, two players will quickly reach a skill level where the game makes no sense.
Again, it’s not really a problem with Clubhouse Games, but it’s something I noticed.
Clubhouse Games is the kind of game that really makes a platform for me. The Switch wouldn’t be the Switch without Zelda and Mario, but it’s the kind of version that fills a library. Clubhouse Games is something that you will look back on in the years to come, and you will be able to say, “Oh, yes – I love this game!
If the roadtrips come back one day, I will give this to my children so that they play in the back seat to entertain them for hours. And this is something that I will talk about regularly so that we can enjoy it as a family. We already do it with yacht dice. And I’ll probably even jump online for chess, shogi, and more.
Nintendo releases the Clubhouse Games on June 5 for $ 40. The publisher has provided a Clubhouse Games evaluation code for this evaluation.