Astraware's Classic Collection
With all the time I spend waiting in airports and on planes, I really value having a wide selection of games on hand to help whittle away the time. I like getting the best value for my money while giving me the most variety at the same time. This is why Astraware Classic Collection (opens in new tab) caught my eye. It includes Astraware Sudoku, Astraware Board Games (collection of 8 board games), and Astraware Solitaire (collection of 12 solitaire games). Sold separately they are $14.95 each for a total of $44.85. The Astraware Classic Collection (opens in new tab) bundles these together for $29.95, giving a total of 21 games to choose from. Good deal, but still fairly steep. So the question is, are they good enough to be worth it? Read on so I can show you what I found...
The Astraware Classic Collection (opens in new tab) is simply a collection of 3 popular game collections. Solitaire and the Board Games are both a collection of games and have similar layout and navigation. You rotate the different games around a 'wheel' and tap on the one you want to play.
Sudoku is a game all by itself, though very addicting.
Lets look at each one a little closer:
Astraware Board Games includes Chess, Backgammon, Ludo, Checkers, Reversi, Nine Men's Morris, Snakes and Ladders, and Tic Tac Toe. You can play against the computer or against a friend. You can set the difficulty level from easy to hard. Astraware Board Games is easy to navigate and to play, though often times challenging to win. The graphics are nicely done (though I think Snakes & Ladders should have been designed better).
I knew all the games, but had to learn Nine Men's Morris. It is actually a fun strategy game and very easy to learn. When you start each game you have the opportunity to read the rules, which are written in a very easy to understand way.
You can customize each game with just about any of the most common house rules that you remember playing with as a kid. The bottom line is that I have found myself really enjoying several of the games in this collection.
Astraware Solitaire is a collection of 12 popular solitaire games. The games are Klondike, Pyramid, Spider, Clock, Yukon, Canfield, Four Seasons, Sultan's Harem, Idiot's Delight, Golf, Calculation, and Freecell. I already knew most of them, while a few of them were new to me. Just like in the Board Games above, the directions are well written and easy to understand which makes learning a new game a very smooth process.
The graphics are not the best, but are okay. Astraware Solitaire is also easy to navigate and to play. For the most part you just drag and drop your cards where they need to go. The cards are small enough where you will want to use your stylus vs your finger. But not only can you select the back of the card, you can also change the front of the cards. This is helpful if your eyesight might not be as good as it used to be and you want bigger numbers on the face of the cards.
You can collect award cards to unlock special trophy decks as well:
If you like solitaire games, there is little doubt that you like this collection.
Astraware Sudoku is the puzzle game that I am sure you have heard buzzing around at work and with friends. Once you learn how to play it, it becomes very addicting. The object is simple. You have a 9x9 grid. Within the grid are 9 boxes each featuring 9 cells. The object is to fill in the numbers 1-9 in each row, column and box, but they must only appear in each one once. In other words, you cannot have 4 placed twice in a column, row or box. Once you play your first game, it all makes sense and falls into place. If you are beginner, Astraware Sudoku does a great job in highlighting the areas you need to look at at any one time. In this screenshot you will see the box in yellow along with the column and row highlighted:
The controls are easy. Click on the number along the side and then on the box you want to place that number in. If you want to make a note of a possible number in that box, then click on the number at the bottom and then click on the box. What is unique about Astraware Sudoku is that you can also use your own handwritten notes:
No matter if you are learning Sudoku for the first time or veteran cresting on becoming an expert, you can find a level that's just right for you:
Astraware Classic Collection (opens in new tab) is comprehensive. Adding up all the games in each of the collections you wind up with a total of 21 games. There are games for all ages from Tic-Tac-Toe or Snakes & Ladders, to solitaire games & Chess, to the addicting puzzle game of Sudoku. For the most part the graphics are really well done (though I think Solitaire could have been a little better). All the games are easy to navigate and do not take any thought to actually control the game to play.
I think this would be a no-brainer for $19.99, but can still hold its value at $29.99 if you like these type of games. The good news is that you can try it out with the trial. You will know without a doubt at that point if you will be able to live without this collection or not! Personally, I find myself playing several of these games every week.
|Ratings (4 out of 5)Overall: 4 stars out of 5||ProsEasy to navigateEasy to control the actual gamesA total of 21 gamesConsSolitaire graphics could be betterAll games are mostly stylus dependent and not very finger friendly|
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.
I definitely have to try the trial version. See if it's worthy of my time. Penny wise, they should have made the price much lesser. Judging by your review, it seems though that Astraware Classic Collection has passed the test!
I bought Astraware (classic) Board Games, when I migrated from Palm OS (where freeware abounds) to a Palm Treo Pro which runs Windows Mobile 6.1 after I tired of looking for free chess, checkers and (mainly) backgammon. Even with the backgammon on the most difficult, the game is in fairly easy mode and makes some fairly stupid moves. Still enjoyable, just not much of a challenge.