You might think that you can't go far wrong with a good, old-fashioned card game, and you'd be right for the most part. Unfortunately there has never really been a successful transition of those card games that require multiple players into the download format, as much of the game resides in the psychological. Psyching out your opponents or bluffing your way through a difficult hand are as important as getting the best cards at the best time, but when playing against a computer it can't help but know what hand you have, and this obviously means that any attempt to bluff or work out what kind of hand your opponents have is impossible. Can Classic Card Games overcome this seemingly insurmountable AI obstacle?
Compared to its sister titles – namely Best of Solitaire and Best of Mahjong – Classic Card Games is a noticeably prettier game. Perfectly fairly rendered CPU players certainly make this title more enjoyable on the eyes, but it's a shame that the same can't be said for the gameplay.
The games available in this title are largely the most popular card games of the recent few decades, including Hearts, Gin Rummy, Canasta, and Go Fish. If the previous paragraph wasn't enough of a clue, you should already have alarm bells ringing in your head; these are all games that require multiple players. So can you play multiplayer over the internet or even using local play? No, you're restricted to playing with several gawking AI-controlled players who cannot overcome the fact that they are all unashamedly aware of everyone's cards.
This places you at a distinct advantage, but usually if the AI is sufficient a roughly playable experience can be found by using the right moves. Unfortunately the AI in this game is basic to say the least, and playing against them is an utter chore. The difficulty involved in even finishing a game is ludicrous, and makes these game almost unplayable. No matter what you try the computer will always trump you, leaving you feeling frustrated and unfulfilled.
There are other games to play as well, such as various forms of poker, but these all suffer from the same crippling problem as the others. There's also video poker which doesn't feel quite as one-sided, but it's entirely a game of luck and you may as well just be playing a slot machine with slightly more complex rules. If you're feeling more in the mood for something solo you can play 24 varieties of solitaire, which may sound appealing if you just wanted to play this solo card game, but considering this title's sister download Best of Solitaire has more variations and costs less, you've really no reason to go for this amalgamation.
Classic Card Games feels like a half-effort with almost nothing to show for it. Too much work seems to have gone into unnecessary aspects and the core gameplay has suffered because of this. Lack of any sort of multiplayer is unforgivable in a title that focuses on games such as these; had it been an option this game would have been a very appealing title indeed, but the CPU opponents drag all the fun out kicking and screaming. Some of the games are perfectly playable, but most of these are variations on Solitaire that can be found for less eShop funds in Best of Solitaire alongside dozens more, so you're better off with those alternatives.