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Date Posted: 19:03:01 11/21/06 Tue
Author: Darryl B.
Subject: Vector 21 (8/10)

Thanks to near-fanatic, prolific homebrewers, the Vectrex is enjoying all kinds of new life, whether it be arcade clones, games that nearly defy description (Spike's Circus, where you ride a unicycle?!), new 3-D Imager games, and even games that link up two Vectrexes at once to play (a game is in the works...).

And, with Vector 21, we also get the very first card game for the Vectrex as well!

Combining Solitaire (somewhat) and Blackjack (most definitely), you have three minutes to get as many combinations of 21 as you can. A card is dealt from the deck at the bottom center of the screen, and there are four spaces in order to start stacking cards. You can have up to five cards in a stack before they disappear by either going over 21 (busting), equaling 21, or if you score less than 21, you'll still receive points that way. The King, Queen, and Jack cards are worth 10 points each, numbered cards equal the face amount, and Aces are worth either 1 or 11.

Three minutes might sound like plenty of time, but believe me, when you suck at math like I do, it isn't, and you'll end quite a few games with cards remaining. However, complete a game with time remaining, and you'll get a bonus for that, as well as for however many Blackjacks and stacks totaling less than 21 you made during the game (can't remember if that's a Combo or a Fury, which I'll admit I'm being too lazy to look).

The graphics are fine, although except for the Jack, there's no details to the cards, and the sound effects are cool, but there's not many of them, and the infamous Vectrex buzz (unless you modified yours or have the later Milton Bradley model) can really stick out like a sore thumb at times! This is a very quiet game, except for a few brief musical pieces (and the ticking of the clock), although the animation of the cards flipping is cool, and there's an image demo of the upcoming 3-D Star Fury included (i. e. no enemies, all you can do is move and shoot), but I can't comment on that, since it won't work without a 3-D Imager or one of the reproductions that are out now, which I don't have right now. But according to the instructions, there's very little to do.

The game comes in a really tiny box, which, even though pretty neat-looking, you could lose the blasted thing if you're not careful, it's barely bigger than your standard Vectrex cartridge! These are a limited edition, as I've got #76 out of 121, so I'd definitely head on over to <a rel=nofollow target=_blank href="http://www.furyunlimited.com/">http://www.furyunlimited.com/</a> to see about getting one before they're gone, if you're into card games; being random every time, this one is a lot of fun, as Solitaire is one of my all-time favorite games (but I like Doom too, case you're wondering!).

Nice for a Vectrex homebrew to take a new path.

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