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on October 3, 2008
Hoyle Card Games 2009
Huge disappointment. Graphics are new but the cards are so small they are hard to see. Even on full screen the cards are tiny and scrunched up too close together. Impossible to manipulate cards in the Canasta game. Very frustrating. Not at all as good as previous Hoyle Card Games. Don't buy this. You will regret it.
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on December 5, 2008
I had 2008 and thought 2009 would be better. WRONG! I play rummy alot and you could double click a card to make it move to the discard pile in 2008. You can't in this version. You have to manually drag it to the pile. Also in some of the solitare games that I could go through the deck more than once in 2008 you can't in 2009. I thought Encore would do better than this. Also had problems with load and updates too. Had to disable UAC in Vista to get it to work. If you have 2008 stay with it. If you are buying for first time buy 2008 not 2009.
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on October 7, 2008
There are no new players, some of the old favorite games are gone, and the new games are nothing special. The biggest issue is the cards. They are waaay too small and too close together. You can't move or sort them in your hand, and they are too hard to manipulate. This is a major problem considering these are all card games. Disappointing.
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on December 30, 2008
When we upgraded our PC to a Vista platform, we thought it was necessary to upgrade our Hoyle Card Games 4.0 too. So we purchased the Holyle Card Games 2009 (which claims Vista compatibility) and have been extremely disappointed with it.
So much effort has been put into to creating vivid backgrounds but not enough thought went into the visual aspect of the cards. When trying to play solitaire it seems that the cards are too small to see clearly and the cards are placed too close together to differentiate one card from the next etc.
We tried selecting the Large cards option and tried changing the display resolution, but nothing worked well enough.
The game has a variety of tables to play on and if you wish, it will choose tables at random. Well in many of the tables, the cards hang over the edge of the table. It seems like there was little or no QA before this product shipped.
So now for the good news. Hoyle Card Games 4.0 does install and work well on the Vista platform. So if you have the old version or can buy the old version, it is a much better product. I
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on July 11, 2009
Hoyle Card Games has been a staple in our house since the very first version way back in the day (when it came on 5.25" disks). Over the years, I think we have had every single version. Some of the versions have taken a little getting used to, so I was prepared for an adjustment period.

The 2009 version is dreadful. It's awful, a travesty. I am shocked and dismayed to even find the good name of Hoyle attached to such a lackluster and disappointing product.

I know it's petty and silly, but I miss the little lizard. He's been gone for a couple of versions and I was hoping he would be back. I miss the weiner-dog too. With all the technology and the space available on a DVD, you would think they could maybe add in some of the old characters or maybe some new ones. These appear to be the exact same ones that have been available in 2008 (and 2007).

The whole 'purchase scenery and card pieces' idea...eh. It's ok. I don't like or dislike it, necessarily. I don't see the point or know why they bothered.

The cards are STILL too small. [Note, there was some kind of patch from last November that apparently increased the size of the cards, they are STILL too small]

The "Card Speed" in the Environment settings is a joke. It appears to be a slider bar (much like an X-axis on a graph) with major and minor tick marks. But you can't adjust to a minor tick mark. The second to the fastest major tick mark is sloooooow (and my computer is running Vista on a 2.8 GHz processor with 8 GB of RAM) and the all the way fastest tick mark is so fast you can't even see cards move...you just hear the flips in the background. I'm even afraid to try any slower setting, I don't have years to watch the cards move.

Cards are selected by a scrolly list at the bottom which doesn't work well and which the spouse says 'is sea-sickening.'

Scores are no longer reported on the game field. WHAT? Yes, you read correctly. While playing a game you can now only see your score between hands.

You now only have two choices for sorting (ascending and descending). Depending on the game I am playing this makes things difficult. While playing Gin, I don't use simple ascending, I group by pairs, sets or runs...but I can't do that in Hoyle 2009. I don't have the option of a custom sort or even unsorted.

They tried to be fancy and create "rooms" you can play cards in. There is scenery, background and a table you all sit around. The problem is that most of the games have a 45 degree angle on the table, which makes the entire playing surface difficult to see, fuzzy and tiny. I was perfectly happy with the older versions where the cards just kind of sat on the borders of the screen. It worked very well and was functional. Why fix what isn't broken?

The interface has been changed and very much not for the better. All right click functionality is gone. In some games (like Canasta) you have to left-click a card and drag it to the appropriate spot on the table, which is fuzzy, difficult to see and (in many cases) BLOCKED by the card you are dragging.

Some of the AIs seem to be more intelligent. The bridge AI does seem to have some improvement over previous versions and the spades AI doesn't seem to trump my aces like the older versions.

However, even with a slight improvement in AI, the interface is so awful that the game is nearly unplayable. If I could return the game, I would. Instead, I'm probably going to reinstall the old version (2008, iirc) and see if maybe I can't sell 2009 on eBay.

Oh, I thought I might write Encore an email and tell them about the problems I had with the game...but there doesn't appear to be any way to contact them directly (from the info on their website) except by snailmail. That seems rather odd to me (and rather fishy) for a company that is making computer games. I can't help but think it's done on purpose.

They seem to have some link with Broderbund (from PrintShop fame). Considering their lack of technical support, a [purposeful] inability to contact the company and an extremely poor quality of product, I believe that unless something amazing happens in the near future I will not purchase any other product from Encore (or Broderbund).

Hoyle Card Games 2009 is that bad. It's so bad I'm going to avoid the manufacturer and their other products. Take it to heart and RUN, do not walk away from this game...buy 2007 or 2008 instead. You will be MUCH happier.
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on January 22, 2009
I actually went back to playing Hoyle 2008...just tried the canasta and it is so bad..IT IS UNPLAYABLE! You can't see the cards..or get them in the melds..it was not gteat in 2008...there actually shoudl be soem intelligence thta it knows which slot to put an ace in?? But here u almst have to go out of your mind to place 1 card....

I never heard of a ne game release making the design much worse!

A total waste of money!!!! Buy it for some hard core canasta players you hate!
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on January 13, 2009
This is the fourth Hoyle Card Games for Computer that we have purchased over the years, and is absolutely the worst. It takes a long time to get to the game you want to play, and when you get there, the cards are too small to read.

The solitaire game Canfield is defective. After playing the first round, the computer says hit reset key, and there is no reset key.
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on October 24, 2008
Hoyle Card Games 2003 is played everyday on our Windows XP home computers but my daughter's new Vista laptop will not recognise the 2003 version. I bought the 2009 thinking I would surprise her. When we tried to play the games on our computers it is complete disaster. Nothing seemed to work very will and as mentioned before, the upgrade stopped mid download.
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on January 10, 2009
This is the second Hoyle game I've been shafted on. I guess I should have learned after getting burned on Hoyle Board and Puzzle Games(which coincidently suffers from the same problem, programmer laziness). It doesn't even add up the scores correctly. How simple a task is that for software? I can't believe the incompetent programmers were too lazy to do any testing on the game to see if it worked correctly. This isn't an occasional problem either. It occurs in almost every game at one point or another. You would be better off checking the five dollar table at a software store. I'm certain you'll get a better game!
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on May 14, 2009
This game really SUCKS!!!!!!!!!
i bought the Hoyle Cards some months ago and didn't install it until recently. I was interested in the bridge game. It was horrible. The cards for dummy were so small as to be unreadable!
After much searching I found from Amazon.com there there is a fix. Several hours of searching for it were fruitless. The game refused to open so I had to delete it. I reentered the application, found the update, not visible before, and downloaded it. I was ok. I quit it after several hands, returned and the thing won't open. I reinstalled three times. It still refuses to launch.
I plan to return it to Apple and try for a refund if I have the receipt. If I don't, I'm just going to leave it with them, and will never buy another Hoyle game ever!!
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