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Play Your Cards Right

Warner Vision (E) 2006

Interactive DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 4/10
reviewed by Andrew Hook
I'm a complete newcomer to interactive DVDs and will probably stay that way for the foreseeable future after this experience. Accepting the review job because of a fondness for Bruce Forsyth who inexplicably reminds me of my father (something that no one else can see), and because of some nostalgia for old style game shows, I didn't really know what to expect from this. As it happens, I found the experience rather slow...

For those who know the game show the DVD is quite faithful in concept. There are two teams. You can play alone against the computer, or go for the two-player experience with a friend. A typical question is "how many jockeys out of 100 said that they have worn their silks and riding crops to bed," and the first player guesses the answer as a percentage, while the second player can then guess if the correct answer is higher or lower than the first player's guess. The winner of the question gains control of the board: a rack of five playing cards where you have to predict if the next card in the line is higher or lower than its predecessor. If you get to the end of your line correctly, you win the round.

I won't continue to explain too much of this game, as chances are if you've read this far you already know the show, but I will mention that the game deviates from the TV version towards the end with both players attempting to win the board and the one with the most points at the end of that being the ultimate winner.

Whilst the game itself is quite repetitive, and in some places irritating ("be a devil and gamble" says the voiceover in a part of the game where there is no option other than to gamble), my big disappointment was the lack of Brucie. He makes no appearance on the DVD, doesn't do the voiceover, and so there are none of the catchphrases from the show ("what do points make? Prizes!" ... "You get nothing for a pair... not in this game" and "it can still be a good night, if you play your cards right"). Whilst this might sound trite, it was stuff like this - and the dolly dealers ("the best things in life all come in pairs. Just look at my two croupiers!") - that made the show watchable on TV. Without Forsyth's trooper personality, the game itself is rather boring. And I'm not just saying that because my wife beat me twice, leaving with �24,000 and �61,000 compared to my �1,000 and �2,000. If Forsyth had a bigger role on the DVD, I would probably have given it six out of ten.

One benefit of the DVD is that I imagine there is some longevity in the game because of the number of possible permutations, meaning it must take some time to exhaust the number of outcomes amongst the cards, but we were only able to stomach playing it twice.

Overall, this is a fairly basic game that doesn't create a deal of excitement, at least, not if you're sober. And for those of you wanting to know the answer to the question above, 82 percent of jockeys have worn their silks and crops to bed, however only 62 percent of fireman have worn their uniforms for the same purpose.
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