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Gma cards is an updated and heavily expanded version of the old free Gma solitare game, since it now contains seven other games besides the traditional Klondike solitare, including three other solitare variations and four strategical games to play against the computer. All games in the pack also now output to Supernova, Jaws, Window eyes, System access, Nvda or sapi, making them one of the more highly compatible sets of games available for windows. Though they contain minimal sounds, the appeal of these games obviously lies in the intensive stratogy and tactics involved, not in flashy affects, and there they don't disappoint.
The pack contains the following card games:
- Seven stack solitare: (also known as Klondike solitare). This is the most commonly known and widely played of all solitare (patience), card games, and the one which has been packaged with the windows operating system for over twenty years. Beginning with 7 stacks of cards, the object is to rank the cards from ace to king in descending order by moving them from the 7 stacks or occasionally taking one from the pack. Of course since moves are subscribed with set rules, it is necessary to play carefully, particularly since the game limits the amount of times you can turn over the pack to gain access to other cards. Hints are available, but at a reduced point cost which won't be halthy for your score.
- Accordian solitare: A first in accessible card games, and one with a very easy layout to understand, albeit one of the more complex when it comes to tactics. The entire pack of cards is layed out in a row, and players must shrink this row down by placing cards one on another. The only problem is that cards can only be placed ontop of cards that follow in suit order, and that are either next to each other or three spaces away. This makes the game highly strategical, since it's necessary to look several moves ahead to make certain you don't end up in an unwinnable situation. The game ranks your abilities on how far down you can reduce the pack in size (how much you can squeeze your accordian), can you get down to one card and become the master?
- Poker solitare: one by one, place cards in a five by five grid to try and achieve winning poker hands. Of course, since each card you place is counted both horizontally and vertically, stratogy and being able to use what resource your given to best effect definitely play a part here.
Cribbage solitare: very much similar to the above mentioned Poker solitare, accept that your 5x5 grid will be socred according to the rather convoluted scoring system of the game of cribbage, a game where calculating your score is almost half of the challenge, which also makes this slightly harder than Poker Solitare.
- Kings corner: This is a game of strategical logic and tactics played between two players, which combines some aspects of the game of Uno (also known as crazy eights or twos when played with a pack of cards), and traditional Klondike solitare. The object of the game is to get rid of all the cards in your hand, by placing them on one of the four stack piles, or, by moving the stacks into corners when you find a king. Since cards can only be placed on a stack in the usual red black descending suit order found in solitare, the game becomes highly tactical particularly since you dont know what cards your opponent has.
- Cribbage: One of the most difficult card games to master. A duel between two players. Each player recieves four cards plus an extra hand known as the box composed of cards from both players. Hands are then ranked according to how well combinations of cards make 15 and also whether pares exist. After this a showdown style phase occurs when players each play cards and those who complete combinations of 15 or sets get extra points, points which progress players across the board to win the game.
- Jin Rummy: Another first for accessible card games, one of the more involved varients of Rummy (and David Greenwood's favourite). Like Cribbage it's a duel between two players. Players each take turns picking up or discarding cards in order to try and form runs or sets. Once a player has a good enough score, he/she can knock, giving his/her opponent just one more round to finish off the hand. Any cards not in sets or runs will add to the knocker's score, unless the other player can fit their waste cards onto the opponent's runs or sets thus turning the tables. If the entire hand is included in sets or runs the player has gone jin and scores a massive boost. With a computer who never forgets what you discard this is also a game it will take work to master.
- Blackjack: the well known casino game that no card game collection would be complete without. Bet chips as your dealt cards trying to equal 21, aka blackjack. The gma version has all the traditional rules, plus the casino standard that the dealer (the computer), will always draw on less than 17 and stick at 18 or higher, information you can use to your advantage when betting.
The games all have a wide variety of keys available, often performing different functions with similar keys to account for people's different preferences. For instance you can move around the stacks in Kings corner and other solitare games with the arrows, or with the J K L and I keys, however you can always check all of the keys with shift f1 if your stuck, while F1 on it's own will read the correct section of the help if your uncertain of the rules of a particular game.
Though lacking pyrotechnic sounds and fast action, if you fancy something different the Gma card games are certainly well designed, particularly considdering that the pack quite literally brings some new games to the table
To find out more about Gma games and their titles, you can visit The Gma games page on the Audiogames archive site
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Updates: entry 25 Jan 17 and description 25 Jan 17