Hoyle's Official Book of Games. (computer game) (evaluation)
by Bob Guerra
Although Sierra is best known for its 3-D graphic adventures such as the Space Quest and Leisure Suit Larry series, Hoyle's Official Book of Games, Volume 2 proves that the company also knows a thing or two about strategy games. Hoyle's 2 is a feature-packed program that boasts 28 card games for the solitaire connoisseur. The collection includes everything from old standbys like Pyramid and Klondike to several lesser-known solitaire games such as Scorpion, Fortress, and Penguin. The program's designer, Warren Schwader, has even tossed in a couple of his own creations-Bowling and Slide.
No matter which game you select, the cards are neatly arranged on-screen and can be easily manipulated with your choice of control device-keyboard, joystick, or mouse. Mouse control is the easiest, but when no mouse is available, either of the other methods works just fine.
All of these solitaire games can be played at an easy or hard level of difficulty. But even with two difficulty levels, some games are much easier to win than others. Once you've selected a game and difficulty level, you may also choose the game's background color and the design of the deck you'll be using. While an unusual design won't improve your chances of winning, the option of choosing your own deck makes playing Hoyle's 2 that much more enjoyable.
Other options let you toggle the sound on and off, adjust the cursor speed, and set the animation speed. This last option determines how fast cards are spun into place at the start of the game and how quickly they're flipped from the deck to the stockpile.
All in all, Hoyle's 2 is a terrific way to pass some free time. Once you've installed it on your laptop, you'll never again be bored waiting at an airport terminal. If I had to find one fault with the program, it's that it doesn't allow you to save games in progress. Nevertheless, Hoyle's Official Book of Games, Volume 2 will provide hours of solid entertainment for anyone who enjoys a good game of skill and chance.
IBM PC and compatibles (8 MHz or faster recommended); joystick or mouse optional-$34.95
Also available in a monochrome MS-DOS laptop version ($19.95) arid for the Amiga $34.95), Atari ST ($34.95), and Macintosh $34.95)
P.O. Box 485
Coarsegold, CA 93614