HOYLE'S BOOK OF GAMES VOL. 1 / Sierra / PC
A decade and a half before there was Poker Night at the Inventory, Sierra collected their flagship characters and villains together to play some games of cards for whatever reason. Well, a handful of their characters. The mix is about half Sierra characters (King Graham, Larry Laffer, Roger Wilco, Sonny Bonds, Rosella and the Colonel) and half programmers and their friends and family. And a talking dog.
No poker either as the game goes full bore "family friendly" with no card games that have any association to gambling ... unfortunately that leaves a kind of disappointing and small mix of more obscure games - crazy eights, gin rummy, old maid, hearts, cribbage and klondike = solitaire.
The main draw of the game is lots of in-game dialogue from the characters, and I like the range of facial expressions that change with the in-game action. Characters will troll you with cheese eating grins when you suffer misfortune, but they also have some seriously disturbing "angry" faces sometimes. Calm down guys, it's just Old Maid. The only issue with the dialogue is that it's only triggered by sitting idle for a long period of time, so it's more like a screen saver than a regular feature of play. Characters on occasion interact directly with each other, like Larry hitting on the women, but mostly they just spout some generic statement and then another character says "That's interesting, X" or "Shut your cake hole, X" or something along those lines.
I'd like a better selection of games and better integration of dialogue into play, but if you're into the "family" games on offer this is a pretty decent simulation. It runs at an acceptable speed, its not prone to glitches and it has a basic but quick and sensible interface.