Catch 21 Reinvents Blackjack

Price: FREE    Rating: 9/10    By Steve BeaudryCatch-21

A good card game is addictive by nature. It requires a combination of luck and skill that gives you just enough control to feel like you’re accomplishing a win and just enough chaos to keep it exciting. Catch-21 by GSN is just such a game.

If you’re familiar with Blackjack, you know the object is to get to 21 by adding up the numbers of cards you are dealt. The element of control comes when you are able to decide whether you want another card or you want to stop and see what luck would have in store – how close to 21 you’ve gotten. Catch-21 gives you even more control and takes even more skill when it takes your row of cards and spreads them out into four rows allowing you to decide where you place the card you are dealt.

There are a few more rules including how many points you get for the different ways in which you reach 21 and what an Ace means and what a Black Jack can do, but all those can be read on the download page in within the game itself. The most exciting element, however, is the timing element. A race against the clock makes this a fast-paced game unlike your normal game of solitaire. It gets your heart pumping and leaves you coming back for another game after the excitement has stopped. For your first couple of games you won’t be worrying about the configuration of your cards or maximizing the number of points you’re getting, you’ll just be slapping down cards in random rows before the time runs out!

Once you’re used to the rules and the game itself, you’ll find yourself making better decisions on where to place that Ace and why you want add another low card to that stack of 4. When you can work out all these decisions and work them out quickly, you’ve mastered Catch-21. But the fun doesn’t stop there, because the more you play, the more Oodles you win from GSN.com! Yeah, I didn’t know what Oodles were at first, either. Turns out, these are a sort of virtual currency at GSN and you can redeem them for various prizes and sweepstakes.

One of my favorite aspects of this game is the fact that you can share you high score with all of your friends on Facebook. GSN.com uses Facebook Connect to log you in and carries that functionality over to Catch-21 where you can use Facebook Connect to post to your wall. It’s not only a great way for you to brag about how awesome you are at the game, it’s also a great way for them to advertise.

I recommend this game to anyone who’s a fan of the card game genre. It’s fast-paced, math-crazy fun for all. And the prizes aren’t half bad.

Catch-21 requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with both iPhone and iPod Touch.

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