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View the story of Cribman

A review of 21st Century Publishing's Quick Cribbage
 

As Cribman and Cribwonder were having a rare relaxing moment in the Cribcave, the Cribphone started to chime and flash, alerting Cribman that the Commissioner was trying to urgently contact him.  Cribman raced to the Cribphone and started to speak:

CRIBMAN:

        "Yes, commissioner?"

COMMISSIONER:

        "Thank heaven I managed to reach you in time Cribman.  The Jackster and his four henchmen, the 5s, are threatening to destroy Crib City unless we meet his demands of $29 million dollars in the next 2 hours.  We have managed to collect about $9 million but we will not be able to get the rest in time.  We need your help, Crib Crusader."

CRIBMAN:

      "I will get right on it commissioner.  Rest assured that I and Cribwonder will teach these foul villains a lesson that they will not soon forget!"

COMMISSIONER:

      "Thank you Cribman and God Speed" (hangs up the phone).

With that, Cribman motioned to Cribwonder to turn on the Crib Computer.  The Crib Computer went through it's usual start up routines before it was ready to start accepting commands.  Cribman then ask to retrieve the Jackster's personality information and  return his most likely possible hideouts.. The Cribcomputer then displayed the following possible locations for the Jackster's hideout:

Rules of Cribbage (6 cards)
Rules of Cribbage (5 cards)
 

Cribbage 29 Web Ring Home page
American Cribbage Congress
Baltimore Cribbage Club
Download Cribbage Solitaire
Pegging Pals Tourney
Cribbage Board Collection
Cribgame
Richmond Cribbage Club
Horse Brass Pub
Cribbage for Windows 95 Home Page
Cribbage Inc's Home Page

CRIBMAN:

       "Quick, Cribwonder, we don't have a moment to spare; To the Cribmobile!"

With that, Cribman and Cribwonder sped off in hot pursuit of the Jackster and his four henchmen, the 5s. Will Cribman make it in time? Will the Jackster make good on his threat to destroy Crib City? For these and other cribbing questions, tune in tomorrow......same Crib time......same Crib channel!

Review of 21st Century Publishing's Quick Cribbage

Before I begin, I want to let everyone know how I came into contact with 21st Century Publishing.  I received an email from one of their representatives, inquiring how they might have a link to their web page added to mine.  I replied to them that generally I don't add links to my web page unless I either like the subject matter that is being discussed or in cases of software, programs that I have had a chance to review and that I enjoy using.  I asked them if they could possibly send me a demo program that I could use to review their program.

I was pleasantly surprised when a few days later, they actually included a full working program with their email response.  The program that I received is called "Quick Cribbage".  From the help menu, the program mentions that it was created by Westley Steiner and the version that I was given is version 1.0 dated 4-11-1999. I thought it was very nice of them to include a full working program for my review.

The program itself is excellent.  Unlike some other programs nowadays that takes lot and lots of hard drive space and require the fastest processor possible to get it to work properly, this program only took less than half a megabyte of hard drive space total and it runs well even on my old computer.  The program keeps track on how often you have played and what the won lost records are.  It also keeps how the margin of victory so that each time you win, that margin gets bigger and when you lose, it gets smaller.

The program seems to be using an artificial intelligence routine because initially it was too easy to beat it but it seems to have adopted to my style of play and while I still have a winning record (more on that later), the ratio of wins to losses has gotten smaller.  What is nice when you do win is that the program plays a clapping sound to congratulate you for winning. In addition, it has hints to suggest to you what to play by clicking on the hint button at the bottom and the program allows you to change the background. In addition to allowing the player to change the background, the program allows the player the option to turn the animation on and off with a single click on the menu bar. When dealing out the cards, the program allows a player to undo which cards are placed in the crib so that the player does not have to worry that they end up giving away the wrong crib cards just because they click in the wrong place.

While I enjoyed the program a great deal and would recommend it to my friends, there are some things that I would like to see added or removed in future versions of this program. One thing that I would like to see would be the removal of having to click to reveal the starter card.  While cutting a deck of real cards would make a difference in real life cribbage, there is no need for clicking to reveal a starter card since the program uses a random number generator to produce the card.  I think this extra click should be removed. Please note that having to reveal the starter card by clicking occurs when you do not have the crib. When you do have the crib, the starter card is automatically revealed.

One thing that I would like to see added would be sound when you lose a game.  When you win a game, the program plays a clapping sound but when you lose a game, there is no sound.  The program just displays a box which mentions that it wins. I would like to see the program to play a razzing sound or maybe play a sound like the one that Nelson the class bully from the Simpsons makes when he laughs at someone.  He usually points to them and then he laughs by saying "haha".  I think it would be fun for the program to taunt the player when they lose and this way it would give the player an incentive to beat the computer when they play the next game.

One thing that I found a bit peculiar about the program is the way that it handles three of a kind. In cribbage, a player pegs 6 points for having a three of a kind.  The program does give the player 6 pegging points but rather than mention a 3 of a kind, it lists the score as 3 pairs. I have yet to see 4 of a kind so I am not sure how it handles that as far as scoring is concerned.  I think the program should just mention 3 of a kind and list the score as 6.

I would also like to see the program be able to keep track of multiple players.  The program does keep track of results but all the results are put together.  Therefore if you have a lot of people using your computer, there would be no way of keeping track of how well you are actually doing since all the results would be grouped together.

I found the program to be very much bug free.  It has not conflicted with any programs that I run in the background and the program has yet to freeze up or do anything weird on me.  However there is a minor bug with the score card which is what gives you the won lost record.  My current record against the computer is 13 wins and 10 losses.  This adds to 23 games but the program mentions that I have played 21 games. There must be some sort of error there that needs to be fixed.

Anyway, I think this is an excellent program and one that I would recommend.  If you are interested in obtaining the program or perhaps finding out more, please visit their web site at:

http://www.21stcenturygames.com

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