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Steve Gardener
Gambling: Games
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Clare Edgeley
Chris Bourne

YOUR FIRST sight is of alleged entertainer Bruce Forsyth - host of the TV show - leering out of the screen. Pressing enter to get rid of him starts the game. Choose the number of players - one or two - and enter your names to bring up the first daft question. "100 men were asked: are you afraid of spiders?"

Hang on. Where are the instructions? Not everybody has watched this 'highly successful' TV program. And Britannia Software shouldn't presume otherwise, highly successful or not.

As some of you might know, Play Your Cards Right is a gambling game based on guesswork rather than skill. On TV it is played with couples and a great many of the questions are of the husband and wife variety. Revolting posers like "100 married men were asked: which do you usually notice first - a girl's face or her figure?" come from the official LWT question sheets.

Anyway, on with the game. On your turn you must decide how many men hate spiders, or how many women have dented their husband's car and lied about it, and enter a figure from one to 99. Your opponent then decides whether that figure should be higher or lower. If she is wrong, you begin gambling.

Five cards are laid face down and the first is then turned over. Yours is the brain-numbing decision as to whether the next card is higher or lower. If the card is a five you can change it, or you may freeze on any card and wait for the next go.

Freezing is the quickest way to win. If you freeze on the fourth card and get the fifth wrong, you won't have to start from the beginning again on your next turn.

The computer answers its questions before you've had time to read the first line, which means that when a question with an alternative crops up you're in the dark. For instance, "100 photographers were asked: would you prefer to work on Vogue or Playgirl?" You are asked to guess higher or lower with no clue as to which alternative the computer gambled on. Who wants to know anyway?

The game is run on a best-of-three basis. If you manage to gamble successfully on your five cards and reach the end of the line you win. If that happens twice you can go onto yet another tedious gambling game, but this time you bet with points.

There seems to be no end to the game. Higher or lower, higher or lower... To think that someone at LWT took the trouble to compile these incredibly stupid questions and find 100 people willing to answer them...

It's dreadful.

Clare Edgeley

Publisher: Britannia
Price: £7.95
Memory: 48K