Review: Cribbage Premium
Cribbage Premium, by Trivial Technology
• Lots of settings
• Smooth gameplay
• Minor quibbles
I am a big Cribbage fan. I played the game through high school with my parents and friends, and have continued to play it long after. I have a Cribbage version on my PDA, on my Treo 680, and I have tried multiple versions on the iPhone. Cribbage Premium may be the best one I have tried to date.
To start with, Cribbage Premium includes an in depth set of instructions on how to play, so even the most novice player can pick up the game. In addition, there are multiple difficulty settings, so as you advance you can increase to harder and harder levels. Basically, Cribbage is a two play card game with two components – a pegging round, where you get points by playing certain cards after your opponent, and a pointing round, where you get points by having various combinations of cards. I won’t go into the details of how to play, but it is a pretty straight forward process.
When playing Cribbage Premium, you have multiple options for playing the game – single player, two player on the same iPhone, and two players using peer-to-peer Bluetooth connections. YAY! We have a multiplayer option for a game that is BUILT around being two players. It may sounds trivial, but many games seem to be lacking in this realm. I do wish there was a wi-fi multiplayer options, but the Bluetooth connect isn’t bad.
When starting a game, you can also adjust the settings. For a single player game, this include difficulty, sounds, “muggings”, point counting (as opposed to having the computer automatically count the points), and game speed. For multiplayer, you have all the options except for difficulty. It is GREAT to see the ability to have “muggings” (getting points your opponent missed) and counting your own points. Again, it seems obvious, but many cribbage games seem to be missing this option. And be careful about counting points – if you over count, you are penalized!
The game play itself is very smooth. You tap on cards to play them, you slide cards around to move them to the kitty, you can re-order cards as you see fit. It all works very nicely with the multi-touch iPhone screen. You can also adjust the view settings – the style of the table, the cribbage board, the cards, even the pegs that you use to keep track of your score! While it doesn’t include some really fancy features (like using an image from your library as the card back), it all is very nice for customizing your game play.
The only real faults I have with the game are minor points, at best. The game includes a “statistics” page, to keep track of your performance – but it doesn’t keep track of multiplayer games! They have recently incorporated the Plus network (which would also be great for challenging people!) but it would still be nice to have those statistics recorded (along with how you perform against specific opponents).
It would also be nice to see iTunes integration, so you can listen to your music while playing (again, as I said, minor quibbles). The biggest feature I would like to see added is to incorporate more than two players. There are rule modifications for playing with three or four players – I would love to see those included in the game, so you could really get a group of players going! But as I said, these are minor quibbles, and the game itself really delivers on quite a bit.
All in all, this is one of the top cribbage games I have seen for the iPhone. At $1.99, the price is well worth it for any fan of cribbage. With a wide variety of customization options, settings, and an fully functional two player mode, the game meets almost all the requirements for a serious cribbage game. There is a free version as well, so if you aren’t sure, test it out! Four and a half out of five stars.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.