KSE Yachtzee 2.04 for Windows CE

Yahtzee is possibly one of the most loved and well-known dice games in the world and KSE Software has created a first rate version for your Handheld PC. I've personally tested several different Pocket PC versions of Yahtzee (even the one based on the original Hasbro version) and I must tell you that the KSE version is every bit as good, if not better then all the rest of the contenders and pretenders in this category. What makes KSE's version so good, is their ability to mix high quality graphics, sound, animation and round it out by offering just the right amount of game play options.

The Abridged Rules

The rules of this game are fairly simple to understand, but rather difficult to explain in just one or two paragraphs. Each player gets 3 rolls of a 5 dice set and the object of the game is to try to match one of the 13 categories on the board. Points are scored once each category is completed and when all the categories are filled in, the game is over. The player (human or computer) who accumulates the highest score wins the game. Fortunately, the folks at KSE have included some excellent built-in help menus, which explain just how the game is played, what options are available and even include some tips on how to improve your game play.

Figure 1: KSE Yachtzee's Game Board Screen

A Game of Many Options

I don't know about you, but I love games that offer me the maximum amount of flexibility and KSE has done a bang up job on this aspect of the software. Checkout this list of options! You can choose up to 4 players (all human or a combination of humans and computer) for each game. The dice can be one of six different colors or multi-colored, which is my preference because it allows me to identify 'like numbered dice', that much quicker.

Figure 2: Colorful Dice Options

The standard dice rolls are preset to 3, but you have the option to set the maximum dice rolls to anywhere between 1 and 5. You can toggle the sound, on or off, you can allow the software to show a 'points preview' for each category at each roll of the dice and you can choose to show (or not show) the startup logo. You can set the first dice roll of each turn to automatic (thereby speeding up game play) and you can also control the length/speed of the animation for each roll of the dice. Icon buttons are available along the top of the screen allowing you to stop the game at anytime, undo (only) your last move, switch turns with the next player, view the top 5 high scores or toggle the sound, on or off. The score (including Bonus Points) is automatically tallied and updated by the software and the winner is awarded a nifty trophy.

Figure 3: Choices available from the Options/Properties Menu

 

Figure 4: The Top 5 High Scoring List and the Winners Trophy awarded after each game

What's not to Like?

Frankly, I can't think of anything that I don't like about this software. The animation of the floating cup tossing the dice is pretty neat (although it can be a bit annoying especially when the computer opponent is beating you badly) and the sound effects are just right - not to noisy or overbearing. For those of us who don't always have someone (human) to play against, the computer opponent provided by KSE is a very worthy competitor and will certainly give most people a very challenging game. The game board screen is beautifully laid out, making category selection (1 - 13) as easy as one simple screen tap.

Figure 5: The Floating Dice Cup preparing to throw the next round of dice

I highly recommend this version of Yahtzee to anyone who enjoys a good game of Yahtzee and to those interested in learning how to play this popular game.

The price for KSE Yachtzee is $19.90 USD. A 15 day trial version is available for download Handango or the KSE home page.

System Requirements:

Windows CE 3 (HPC2000) only
StrongARM, MIPS

Rating  
Cost: 4 Star Rating: Recommended
Usability: 5 Star Rating: Exceptional
Built-In helps: 5 Star Rating: Exceptional
Customer Service: 5 Star Rating: Exceptional
Overall: 5 Star Rating: Exceptional

KSE Yachtzee can be found at the following URL.
http://www.ksesoftware.com/

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John Ottini
Handheld PC Reviews