It's a pretty solid collection of board and card games with a spiffy presentation. For the most part the review could probably end there, in part due to the fact that...well...they're board and card games that already existed. Want some Chess and Solitaire? Got it. Mahjong and Hanafuda? Sure. You even get stuff like Hounds and Hares and I feel like for all but true board game affecionados there will be something new for people to discover as they play. You even get some stuff like Tanks or Bowling. Granted this is noooooo Wii Bowling in terms of control, but it still gives some neat options you can't get with a deck or cards or a set of dice.

I do have a few issues with this collection, a big one being a bit of lacking options and how some games are presented / forced. Poker's a big one: You're forced into 10 rounds instead of being able to just play however many you want and with forced bet increments. The end result is that a lot of the skill of Texas Hold 'em such as bluffing and mathing it out is kinda removed. I get having it as a default, but I don't get why you couldn't at least just say endless rounds given there's already an option for rounds but you can only pick between 5 or 10. Blackjack has similar issues. This doesn't hurt toooooo many games but it popped up enough to be kind of a bummer. And stuff like Tanks is no Wii Tanks, much reduced in scope and how it plays kinda deal.

The other thing is just the AI, while it can be tough in some games (unsurprisingly usually mathematical or solved games like Connect Four), there's a lot of games it is just kinda dim. Yahtzee is the main one as it basically always goes for Straights immediately and doesn't seem to understand the top bonus: It'll gladly take a single six in sixes rather than a two in aces even though it is just the wrong play, very easy to beat. Chess has it always use the same moves and be a bit exploitable, I wish there was a bit of a randomization factor just so every game didn't start e4, and it makes it a bit easy to exploit. There's a few other things like that throughout the game, but for some of the games it is more baffling than others. Seeing a computer take a 24 in Chance when it has a 20 in Fives and the top is open is...yeah.

As much as I am dumping on some points, make no mistakes: Most of the games work fine and some of my biggest flaws like the AI are pretty irrelevent in multiplayer, which is what most people will likely use Clubhouse Games for, and even solo you can easily kick this up to play a quick game of Yahtzee, Chess, Tanks or w/e and just kinda enjoy yourself. I also have to say I am quite glad for Clubhouse Games Guest Pass and allowing easier multiplayer without buying 3 copies of the game. I do wish it also worked with online but I can understand how that might just completely destroy sales.

When it comes down to it, Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics is EXACTLY what you'd expect. Good for friends and family who want a more family game oriented experienced, games that have less depth than a full game dedicated to more specific ones would be but have enough, a few stinkers because with 51 worldwide classics would you expect to hit them all and all wrapped up neatly in a nice presentation. It isn't an amazing game, but it is a solid game that accomplishes what it wants to do. So if you're in the market for that then pick it up: You won't regret it!

Reviewed on May 14, 2024