Google+   Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | DS | PS3 | PS4 | PSP | VITA | WII | WIIU | X360 | XB1 | All

Great Deal (NES) artwork

Great Deal (NES) review


"Great Deal combines Solitaire and Tetris into a nastily intriguing puzzle with its own quirks. The player picks one of a hand of four cards to drop on a five-by-five well. Three or more cards in a row of the same suit or number, or in a straight, disappear in a cloud of point values. The bigger, the better, and combos give multiples. A joker helps. One deck of cards makes a level. "



Great Deal combines Solitaire and Tetris into a nastily intriguing puzzle with its own quirks. The player picks one of a hand of four cards to drop on a five-by-five well. Three or more cards in a row of the same suit or number, or in a straight, disappear in a cloud of point values. The bigger, the better, and combos give multiples. A joker helps. One deck of cards makes a level.

This opens up mathematical possibilities, but a cheat pause offers intriguing strategy. Most piece-drop games hide the board when you pause. Here, you get a total of two minutes where you can stop the board and move or shuffle your falling piece. Using disproportionate time for initial planning is advisable, creating a constant under-pressure, behind-schedule feeling on later faster levels. The arithmetic of time usage contrasts with the card-counting to achieve a combination, or clear the board at deck's end.

Should the player pass nine progressively quicker levels with more cards in the well to start, he wins. Surviving--using the deck without overflowing the well--isn't enough. The next round's ante exceeds the bonus for using all cards. Thus, most of GD revolves around setting up the perfect combination or, when your wanted card comes last, getting close. Medium-level card counting lets a player plan for his big combination. Sometimes, it's better not to clear the board and take a loss for each card remaining. Puzzle junkies will love trying all possible 4- or 5-chains on level one, to find which gives the most points.

The ideal monster combo is not hard to figure, with a finesse or two giving huge bonuses, yet messy starting boards make it tricky--or impossible. The game may offer a bad starting layout, with combinations you DON'T want: odd straights, four of a kind, or worse, the joker. Jokers disappear with the first match, depriving you of your bonus. With a fair deck, where you can take steps to avoid these unhappy triads, one mistake's still fatal, and you don't need the computer making it for you beforehand. A check for ridiculous starting matches, or an option for one, would've left enough nebulous, yet manageable puzzles. It's especially nasty given the lack of continues or passwords. The natural strategic plateaus with antes so steep you need to tweak the seemingly best strategy are really enough.

That aside, GD provides easy access at the start and exacting challenge near the end. It's probably for puzzle fans only, as a green background, insipid sound loop, and some brown suited chump who cheers on making it to level X+1 aren't too fancy. The fixed deck and four-card hand allow for planning and balance in what a player must deal with--if he escapes bad starting positions. Thankfully, save state juggling after completing a level fixes that.

Rating: 7/10

aschultz's avatar
Community review by aschultz (January 04, 2010)

A bio for this contributor is currently unavailable, but check back soon to see if that changes. If you are the author of this review, you can update your bio from the Settings page.

More Reviews by aschultz
Jones in the Fast Lane (PC) artwork
Jones in the Fast Lane (PC)

Jones isn't perfect but offers revealing rat-race insights beyond the densely-packed jokes that never get cynical or fluffy. I found myself calculating how to cram in quick cheap education before week's end, or even working way more than I needed to or putting off asking for a raise (yes, it's just a game. Yes, ...
Bikkuriman World: Gekitou Sei Senshi (NES) artwork
Bikkuriman World: Gekitou Sei Senshi (NES)

It showed me that, yes, RPGs can transcend language. Maybe none can as well as your average puzzle game. But BW has lots more fun trying and getting far closer than expected.
Circus Caper (NES) artwork
Circus Caper (NES)

I felt little guilt replaying through it with cheats on, and I recommend anyone who wants to check it out do the same...But fortunately the cheap deaths will fade away much sooner than the bears on unicycles and such instead.

Feedback

If you enjoyed this Great Deal review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

Info | Help | Privacy Policy | Contact | Advertise | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2014 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Great Deal is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Great Deal, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors.