Colossus Bridge 4 (CDS) Review | A&B Computing - Everygamegoing

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Colossus Bridge 4

Published in A&B Computing 5.11

Let's get something straight right up front - I can't play bridge, I have no desire to play bridge, I'm perfectly content to stay that way. However.

However, this is a package with real class. Anyone who recalls CDS' Colossus Chess 4 will know what to expect - fully featured, easy to play but complex, in short a real mind-stretcher.

This has already received a lot of attention for other versions (the usual C64, Spectrum and CPC but also on the IBM PC) - mainly due to the twin delights of a beginner's game that will become as complex as you wish. Imagine this - you against the computer (it plays three hands, the clever little thing), the thrill of the green baize, the raising of bids, trumping and no trumping, and all the time you're learning. Crafty but fun.

Colossus Bridge 4

The game plays the Acol system, incorporating three popular conventions (Blackwood, Stayman and Baron), all of which begins to make more sense after you've read the free paperback included in the packaging - Fox's Begin Bridge. It seems that all the stuff at the beginning of a game - you know, four hearts, two no trumps and the rest - is a kind of code. At times it represents the actual number of tricks you think you'll win, at others it is just a way of telling your partner the precise cards you have in your hand. Of course, if it's a convention then you must also be telling the other players, I guess. Anyway that hardly matters as the computer knows your hand - heh, heh!

What the game will teach you, however, is how to play. It includes a nifty little tutor that takes you through ten sample hands, ensuring that you learn the best way to bid. Once you've had a shot at that and skim read the book, it's time to play.

The graphics are clear, cards suitably large, and the computer's response very fast indeed. Your own cards are displayed (you always play South) and it is quite unforgiving. Unfortunately, all the goodies promised in the booklet do not appear on the Beeb versions - nice things like autoplay, demonstrations, backstepping tricks and so on. Even so, it is quite superior to any other card game simulation I can recall for the Beeb.

If you are a bridge addict, then this is obviously for you. If you are keen to learn, then the same applies. However, if you just have a passing interest, then I think the price would put you off. However, it is worth it - this is a game that will serve you in good stead for years. Well done, CDS.

Dave Reeder

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