|System: PSP, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Crave Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Crave Entertainment||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 3, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Broken down into bite-sized portable mini-games, the single-player mode is enjoyable enough and somewhat satisfying. However, there is little physical reward or punishment for taking on these challenges. You don't lose points if you lose a game. The only penalty you will receive is that you have to go back and play the game again. You will acquire more cribs and bling, but considering how low res the graphics are, that's not something to get excited about. Keep in mind that games like Solitaire and War are all about luck. There is no way to sharpen your skills for those games unless of course you're psychic. It all boils down to the randomized order of the cards in the deck. In other words, pure dumb luck. Eventually you'll get lucky and best these luck-based games, but it's kind of a hollow feeling.
Available in the Extras mode, tutorials do an admirable job of teaching you each and every game. The instructions are simple and concise, but it's really up to you to learn more about strategies and advanced forms of play from the net. And speaking of the net, you can play most of these games online, with the exception of solitaire. But be warned, there are not very many people online, even though you can play against PS2 owners as well. So even while online, you'll probably be playing solitaire to pass the time while waiting for another human.
Accessing the score menu is a tedious affair. You have to scroll all over the screen to find your results. Overall, there is nothing good to say about the presentation. It would be trash if it were released on the original PlayStation before the beginning of the last millennium. Background textures have all the appeal of a corporate boardroom. They animate about as gracefully as stick puppets. The onscreen windows, which display the players' names and cards, would be more at home on a Commodore 64. The music and voiceovers are limited. The tunes are looped and will drive you crazy if played for an extended period of time. The characters throw out a few "irreverent, madcap, zingers" which are little more than embarrassingly cliché, not to mention repetitive. Turn the sound off. I implore you.
There are a few good elements to World Championship Cards such as the portability, the tutorial, and the inclusion of Bridge. But face it, there's not one game that you can't find instructions for and play online for free. So the only other variable in your decision making process is the portability issues. And as I mentioned earlier, what could be more portable than a deck of cards?
CCC Senior Writer