Top Trumps on the hand-heldTop Trumps on Nintendo DS!?! What were they thinking? Top Trumps is a game that is meant to be played with people; isn’t it all about the social interaction?
It’s about teenage boys arguing in the playground about whether they think Peter Beardsley should have a better top speed than John Barnes (I’m showing my age now), or perhaps today’s kids bickering over whether Professor Snape should have more cunning points than Draco Malfoy.
For me, Top Trumps was all about gathering around a desk at school with friends at lunch-time or playing around the dining room table with the family. So, how can it ever work as a video game?
Well, quite simply it seems. Eidos has worked wonders with this latest game based on the massively popular card-trading franchise with some nice ideas that keep the battles from being too predictable or dreary.
Dr Who Top Trumps utilises a deck of cards full to the brim with Doctor Who heroes and villains. The likes of ‘The Face of Boe’, ‘Roboform Santa’, ‘The Cult of Skaro’ and ‘Captain Jack’ all make an appearance in card form, sporting numerical attributes, such as height, intelligence, monster rating and courage.
There are a few game modes to choose from including local multiplayer as well as unlockable mini-games, such as ‘Hi-Lo’ or Memory Matrix’, but the majority of the action takes place in Adventure mode, where you and a computer-controlled character are issued with 15 cards each before you lock horns in a battle of wits.
Adventure mode is a two-player game, with the other player controlled solely by the computer. After being issued with 15 cards each, the starting player selects a category from his or her topmost card and reads out its value. Each other player then reads out the value of the same category from their cards. The best (usually the largest) value wins the "trick", and the winner takes all the cards of the trick and places them at the bottom of his or her pile. That player then looks at their new topmost card, and chooses the category for the next round.