XBLA Review: Gin Rummy

Would you prefer vodka, a nice cold lager or Gin Rummy?

Enjoy challenging variations of the classic card game Gin Rummy. Strategically select the right cards to complete sets of combinations, minimizing the risk of getting caught with a poor hand. “Knock” out your opponent with high scores and bonus points, and enjoy video chat with players from around the world for endless hours of casual card game fun.

  • Six popular game modes: Challenge your opponents to a game of Classic Gin Rummy, Speed Gin Rummy, Oklahoma Gin, Hollywood Gin, Three-Hand Gin, or even customize your own rules.
  • Rapid auto-scoring: Immediate automatic scoring at the end of each match also provides a detailed breakdown of each player’s total accrued points and bonuses.
  • Unique game themes: Choose from colorful game skins, artistic card decks, and entertaining music selections.
  • Multiplayer matches: Test your skills in a real-time multiplayer match with up to three other competitors.
  • Xbox LIVE Vision: Video chat with your friends over Xbox LIVE Vision for a knock-out time.

    For 400 Microsoft Points, Gin Rummy might seem a tempting game to get for your arcade collection…especially since most games now range between the 800-1200 point range, but don’t be so hasty in splashing out cash for this card game, you might be disappointed if you do.Gin Rummy is one of those types of card games that will only appeal to fans who have played the real-life game or these types of card games in general. It won’t really appeal to those who like UNO as this is more complex and hard to get used to, but if you like the other card games on XBLA then maybe this is worth trying…even if you try out the demo before you decide to buy.

    I can’t say I’m all that familiar with the way Gin Rummy worked before I played the game, so those who do will obviously have an advantage against people like me. Unfortunately, there seems to be a real lack of modes but instead just variations of the game itself. It would have been nice if you could create your own custom rules but you can buy new decks for around 100 points and one is already available. The achievements seem fairly easy enough to get, so achievement-whores will be able to bag most of the points in no time…which is always a good thing when it comes to card games, in my opinion anyway.

    Just in case you were wondering…here is the achievement list:

    Gin Winner—Win 1 round by going Gin. (10 points)

    Close Cut Match—Win 1 round by Undercut. (10 points)

    Knock-out—Win 1 round by Knock. (5 points)

    Rummy Bunch—Finish a 4-player game of Gin Rummy in any mode on Xbox Live. (10 points)

    Setting Champ—Win 1 round with only sets. (10 points)

    Well-Suited—Win 1 round with cards including deadwood from only one suit. (15 points)

    On a Roll—Win 20 rounds by going Gin in any game mode. (20 points)

    Gutsy Gin Guru—Win 1 round without drawing from the discard pile. (20 points)

    Rummy Shark—Win 10 matches or games in Single Player. (20 points)

    Merciless—Win 1 Player Match hand against one player by 50 or more points. (25 points)

    Rummy Master—Win 5 games/matches in each single player mode, and 25 player matches. (25 points)

    Multiplayer does support the Live Vision Camera, although the screen size is fairly small and it’s hardly worth doing unless you are with friends. The game has a few problems with its visuals; the backgrounds are bland for an arcade game and don’t seem good enough. The game seems right at its price, but the presentation tends to let it down too much.

    The Verdict

    Gin Rummy is nothing more than an arcade version of the classic card game, which isn’t a bad thing for 400 Microsoft Points. What holds it back is its presentation and overall design, some extra modes might have helped also. It won’t be for everyone but if you like card games like Poker then consider trying it.