What makes Ultimate Euchre so great? Well first, it’s Euchre, which immediately puts it ahead of any other card game. Next, I think it plays pretty darned well, and was a visually pleasing game. But what truly set it apart was the customization options.
- Skill level: First off, you can add as many computer players as you want. You can set the skill level from Beginner to Master. Nothing too unusual about that.
- Aggressiveness: However, you can also set the characters’ aggressiveness. Ever have a partner that would go alone with a mediocre hand, or would regularly trump your ace? You can duplicate them. Or the opposite: someone who won’t make trump without three guaranteed tricks. Make them, too.
- Predictability: Some players always do the right (or wrong) thing. Others go by “instinct”: making trump with a weak hand because they were “just sure” you had the right bauer. Well, you can model that in your players as well.
- Personality: And finally–ever play with a real jerk? Or someone who was so polite that you just wanted to pound their head on the table? How about a fundamentalist Christian, or a total foul-mouthed sleazebag? You can add these delightful personalities to your players as well! How does that affect the game? Well, it doesn’t, exactly. But each player has a “talk” box below their name. During the game, they will comment on your play and that of their teammates and opponents: gloating over a set, bitching about a failed loner, calling their partner foul names for a bad play. You can even add your own comments!
The game came with a dozen photo-realistic card backs, much like Microsoft stole added to Solitaire. But I also provided scores of other designs: nature, aircraft, space, holidays, hunky guys, beautiful girls, even an add-on R-rated set of nude cards!
Ultimate Euchre came with dozens of wave-form sounds, everything from the riffle of a shuffling deck, to a donkey bray for when you set your opponent, to rather rude comments for certain situations. These waves could be tagged to game events such as winning a trick, succeeding in a march, overtrumping, euchring your opponent, or succeeding in a loner. I provided scores of additional sounds, and people could also add their own.
Why play on the same table top every game? I also provided multiple table designs, but anyone could easily add their own just by copying the texture into the Tables folder.
Additionally, Ultimate Euchre kept game, session, and career stats for you and all your players. The final version included the option to play other people over the Internet–back in the mid 1990s!
So I stand by my claim: Ultimate Euchre is one of the best computer card games ever.
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