Pocket Pack: Strategy Games

There goes the rest of our spare time...

Pocket Pack Strategy Games
18th August, 2010 By Ian Morris
Game Info // Pocket Pack: Strategy Games
Pocket Pack: Strategy Games Boxart
Publisher: Mere Mortals
Developer: Mere Mortals
Players: 1
Online Multiplayer: 1 - 2
Subtitles: Full
Available On: DS
Genre: Board Game

If you read our review of the last Pocket Pack game, Pocket Pack: Words and Numbers (and if you haven't - why the heck not?), you'll remember that while we were a bit concerned about the game's longevity in single player, we were pleasently surprised that when it came to multiplayer, against a friend, the game's simple presentation and selection of brain bending puzzles turned the game into a real time sinker, as we found out on our way back from London.

Another few weeks have passed since then, and now the next game in the series, Pocket Pack: Strategy Games has found its way onto the DSiWare store. And, we're pleased to report the result is more of the same - and that's not a bad thing.

Pocket Pack: Strategy Games Screenshot

Bad move there, black player. Bad move.

Leaving behind the alphanumerical bent of the previous game, Pocket Pack: Strategy Games instead focuses on games that make your mind work in a different way. Containing Draughts (or checkers, as it's known in the game), Nine Men's Morris, Chinese Checkers, Reversi and Gomoku - which is basically a glorified version of naughts and crosses, just using five pieces instead of three, there's a decent mix of board games here, and enough variety to stop you getting bored.

Much like the last game in the series, you're able to take on each of these games either against the computer, or against a friend - and as you may imagine with games like this, it's when playing against someone you know that the game really comes into its own. While playing against the computer can be entertaining - and the computer certainly knows how to put up a fight, especially on draughts, and gomoku - the social aspect of playing against someone you know, and testing your mind against theirs is what makes this shine.

Pocket Pack: Strategy Games Screenshot

Gomoku's strange breed of naughts and crosses x5. Looks like the white player's won.

With multiplayer supporting download play, you'll never have to worry about finding a friend who owns a copy of the game if you fancy a quick game of draughts - although it'll be a lot easier if they do, as when you're playing using download play, the game makes your opponent reset their DS after every match - presumably to encourage you to splash the cash on the full game.

When you think of brain teasing board games, however, the one you'll invariably come up with is Chess, which is why it seems a bit odd that the most strategic strategy game of the lot hasn't been included here. It's fine by us, as in all honesty, we're a bit rubbish at it, but it does seem a strange oversight that's worth bringing up.

Overall though, Pocket Pack: Strategy Games is another game that's perfectly suited for those five or ten minutes when you've got nothing to do, either waiting for a train or bus, or lazing about on a rainy day (like today) at home. For 500 points, or around a fiver if you buy a points card from the shops, it works out at around a pound a game. Can't say fairer than that.

Format Reviewed: Nintendo DS

StarStarStarHalf starEmpty star
The perfect companion for a lazy day.
  • +
    The AI offers a decent challenge
  • +
    Download play multiplayer is every bit as much fun as before.
  • +
    Decent selection of games.
  • -
    Single player still feels a bit limited
  • -
    AI seems a bit *too* good on anything above easy
  • -
    Where's chess?
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