Play six different card games (Crazy Eights, Old Maid, Hearts, Gin Rummy, Cribbage, and Klondike Solitaire) against 0-3 computer opponents (as appropriate for each game).
There are 18 available computer opponents, including characters from other Sierra games (Colonel Henry Dijon, Shelly LeBlanc, Officer Sonny Bonds, Larry Laffer, King Graham, Roger Wilco and Princess Rosella), Sierra employees (Warren Schwader and Jerry Moore) and their children, and others. The different opponents play the different games at different skill levels, and are broken up into "Serious" and "Not-So-Serious" categories. All the opponents will taunt you (in character) as you play (though you can turn off in-game conversation if it's too distracting).
Hoyle is a name best known for the various books that compiled the rules for numerous card, dice, board, and token-style games, also known as "Classic Games." Hoyle Volume 1 covers a handful of the more common card games, using traditional rules.
For beginners who may have never heard of any of these games, there are complete rules provided within the game.
Hoyle Volume 1 Includes: Crazy Eights, Old Maid, Hearts, Gin Rummy, Cribbage, Klondike.
The game is controlled completely with the mouse.
If the player tries to perform an illegal action within the game, they will receive a reminder that what was tried is not possible, or that something else has to be done first.
Sounds are off by default, which is good because they are annoying beeps and not worth listening to.
The Hoyle volumes were released through the Sierra company, and you may recognize some of the "Characters" that you can play as or have as opponents, as many come from other Sierra titles. Each one advertises their "game" when you select them as opponents. Some of them are beginners and can be beaten easily, once you know the rules of the game; others are quite skilled and cunning, making them a challenge even for experts. The opponents are divided into two categories - More Serious Players and Not So Serious Players - which gives you a decent idea of how difficult any one opponent is.
Each character has little animations, such as a smiling face when something goes their way and a frown when something goes against them. Their eyes also shift around to look at the player whose turn it is. The animations are simple, but neither add to nor detract from the playing experience.
Hoyle Volume 1 can be used to teach people how to play these card games and to provide opponents when friends and family are too busy to break out the cards.
Hoyle Volume 1 is single-player; there are no hot-seat card games here. If you wish to play any of these games with real people, use the game to learn the rules, and then get a deck of cards to play with friends and family.
People who downloaded Hoyle Official Book of Games: Volume 1 have also downloaded:
Hoyle Official Book of Games: Volume 3, Hoyle Official Book of Games: Volume 2, Hoyle Board Games 2001, Hoyle Classic Card Games, Game of Life, Monopoly (1999), Hoyle's Book of Games, Monopoly Deluxe
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