Hardwood Spades Review

Hardwood Spades is a Spades game for Spades fans, but even fans of the card game will probably be a little put off by the dull graphics and sound.

Multiplayer card games are among the most popular online games, though you wouldn't know that unless you delved into the world of "casual gaming," where card, board, and word games are the order of the day. Silver Creek Entertainment has delivered three such games to the Xbox 360 with hopes of attracting a similar crowd on the new console. In addition to Hardwood Backgammon and Hardwood Hearts, the developer has also delivered an authentic four-player game of Spades. If you're a fan of Spades, this game has some Spades for you. It's not the most dynamic-looking game in the world, but it gets the job done.

Now you can play Spades from the comfort of your own couch.

Spades is a four-player card game that is usually played in teams of two. You and your partner bet on how many "tricks" you can take, then the four players take turns laying cards on the table in an attempt to win all of the tricks you bet on without going over. It isn't the most straightforward game in the world, though Hardwood Spades has four tutorials devoted to different aspects of the game. That, combined with a little practice, goes a long way.

There are a handful of gameplay options to choose from before getting onto the card table. You can elect to play with a partner, three single players, or four single players. There are a few different game types that impact how betting is handled, and you can enable or disable things like blind nils or shooting the moon. You can play against the computer if you can get on Xbox Live, and take on real opponents using the different rule sets. There's no option for local multiplayer, but because that would depend on you telling people to turn away from the screen when it isn't their turn (so they couldn't see other players' cards), that's an understandable omission.

Graphically, the game's completely bare-bones. There are a few different backgrounds to choose from, but the game doesn't go out of its way to wow you with its visuals. They get the job done. The sound is also very bare, with some generic background music that gets old very, very quickly.

This game is for people that are already fans of Spades who are looking to play Spades on their televisions instead of their computers. If you're interested in a card game, but don't already specifically play Spades, you should give the demo a shot, but don't expect to be blown away.

The Good
Tutorial walks you through the game reasonably well
Xbox Live support lets you take on the world
The Bad
Rather ugly graphics
Repetitive sound and music
6.2
Fair
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

Discussion

4 comments
shelleystarkey
shelleystarkey

This is a HORRIBLE website. 


The owners JONAS and JASON have multiple tactic's they use to keep better players off the site. 

The have allegedly even told their guiding staff that the little old ladies are the ones who spend all 

their money on the site so they program in what the call Variety Dealing. 


Variety dealing basically for them is balancing the hands based off the players skill set and the current

score. So its not true dealing as they program in advantage dealing as opposed to true algorithms. 


Also as stated by their lead programmer Gromph in a discussion with a local acquaintance whom as

this posted live in Oregon where Hardwood is based. He stated that due to past lawsuits and legal claims

they no long ban players. What they have done is changed the algorithms for those players games

so that they have extremely disadvantaged hands and will just eventually leave the game. This is similar

to a work site where the owner doenst have the ca-hones to terminate and employee so he just cuts their

hours until they quit. In the work force this is a rights violation and EEOC intervention can be warranted. In

the case of the gaming site no one has legally pursued the ground of this yet but im review of some other

boards there are a couple of players taking this action into future consideration. 


Overall I would state DO NOT spend your hard earned money with Hardwood or any SILVER CREEK property

of game as you will be wasting hard earned cash. 


Strong players and players just looking to improve your skill this is not the place you will gain anything. 


Unfortunately bad management choices for some small income has motivated Jonas who is the lead owner

to make some very poor business decisions and in turn has held back his income making potential for years. 

tastylove53
tastylove53

I purchased Hardwood Spades But The Only Complaint That I Have Is That Either They OverBid Or Underbid! You REally Have Tried So Hard To Bid It's Like Playing Your Hand And Your Partners Hand Too. And Others Words That Just Can't Not Play But What Can I Say. It Passes The Time Away.

caliguy75
caliguy75

I would not recommend buying Hardwood Spades. It was a great game about ten years ago but has gone downhill since then. First, they ban you without giving you any reason other than "using profanity" but when you email them to ask when, they don't answer. I don't use profanity in games and got banned twice, making me believe perhaps I just beat one of the administrators. And recently they no longer acknowledge the membership that I originally paid. Now, I have to "upgrade" to a monthly fee in order to play the "rated" games, start a game, or even chat! That wasn't what I signed up for and it seems they see it fair to change your membership privileges at any time without notice. It used to be a great site, full of players, and fun chat. Now it's a mere remnant of what it used to be--quite depressing to play there now.

Hardwood Spades More Info

  • First Released
    • iPhone/iPod
    • Xbox 360
    In Hardwood Spades, a multiplayer card game, you can bid on how many tricks you can take, and then work with your partner to make it happen.
    6.5
    Average User RatingOut of 250 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Hardwood Spades
    Developed by:
    Silver Creek Entertainment
    Published by:
    Silver Creek Entertainment
    Genres:
    Trivia/Board Game
    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
    Everyone
    All Platforms
    No Descriptors