Card Mania is a fun computerized version of Pokio and Quintoon, two coin-op card games that used to be somewhat popular in casinos and arcades both in the USA and Europe. Perhaps the best way to describe the games is to imagine playing multiple hands of Poker and 21 (Blackjack) at once - Pokio being the multiple-hand version of Poker, and Quintoon of Blackjack. Up to four human or computer players can join in either game, which plays exactly the same as their coin-op original. Like any casino game, your goal is to rack up as much money as you can. But since these games are coin-op, you cannot change the amount of bidding for each hand - think of them more as "high score" games than actual gambling. Card Mania also gives you several "lives" to play the game - a strange design choice given the subject matter. If you lose a game, you lose one life. Running out of four lives means you will have to start the game from the beginning. Unlike most card games, the graphics in Card Mania is excellent - it is colorful, well-animated, and even includes a wide range of dealers you can choose from (although they are all the same except for digitized photos and the funny things they say once in a while). Like real-life Pokio and Quintoon, playing the games is a breeze: use your mouse to choose which hand to put the current card in. Last but not least, the music is pleasant, and the game is multilingual - you can play it in German, French, Spanish, or a number of other European languages if you want to. On a downside, the computer players take quite a long time to finish - you have to watch patiently as they move the mouse cursor to select the cards. This makes the game a lot more fun as a solitaire game or with friends. If you enjoy obscure card or casino games, check out this polished implementation of two coin-op card games that you probably cannot find anywhere else anymore.
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