Friday, August 6, 2010

App O' the Mornin': Cribbage King

I’m going to post a longer item on Cribbage later today, so I wanted today’s App O’ the Mornin’ to focus on my favorite Cribbage App.

Lately, Cribbage King has been the App that gets the heaviest workout on my iPod Touch. I tried a couple of other Cribbage games, and just wasn’t satisfied. Cribbage Lite/Premium has an unappealing design and poor scoring system, Cribbage Deluxe is ugly, and the Cribbage included with Card Shark simply isn’t full-featured enough.

Cribbage King, however, offers a terrific little package, with the main game for free and the registered version for $1. It looks great, and has a very fluid and intuitive touch control scheme. It shows you when points are scored and then pegs them on the animated board. In between each hand, it shows precisely where each point comes from.

Features in the registered version include three different difficulty levels, with three players each; options for up to four hands; and different kinds of scoring. This last feature is quite neat, since it allows you to manually enter your scores. This might just seem like a needless bit of extra work, but it actually has a tactical role in Cribbage play. If you fail to score some of your points, your opponent can claim these points under the “Muggins” rule. Cribbage King incorporates this rule, and the AI will use it every chance it gets.

I do find it bizarre that more options and variants are not included. You have 6-card Cribbage, and that's it. I'd much rather play 5-card.

The Card Sharks compilation is a great App that should be on every card-lover’s smartphone, but there are some games that just require stand-alone versions. Cribbage is one of them, and Cribbage King is the stand-along version of choice.


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