Tested version: 2.7
Latest version: 3.0
Requires Android: from 1.1
Keeping your cool is easier said than done. While testing Pachee, a Parcheesi game for Android, I had a hard time keeping my cool. Nonetheless, the game was a lot of fun. The game turned out to be a surprising revelation for me. Find out why in today's test.
Features & Use
Pachee is a very well-designed Parcheesi game with a couple of different playing modes. You can play against a maximum of three friends, against the computer or embark on a journey in story-mode to discover more features (including fields and tokens; see Screen and Controls for more).
Even if you happen to think that Parcheesi is an outdated game for old-timers, this doesn't mean you can't have a ton of fun playing Pachee on your phone. The developers have integrated an old game into a new and exciting format. A set of new features gives this dusty game a breath of fresh air!
I really enjoyed playing Pachee and if not for the lack of an online playing mode, I would've given this game a full five stars. Despite the four star rating, I believe this game is simply top-notch!
Screen & Controls
On the main screen you have the following options available:
In Quick Game mode, you select a color, decide against how many CPU opponents you would like to play and then start playing right away.
I found the game controls to be so intuitive that they don't even warrant an explanation. After starting the game a dice is automatically rolled. The player (or CPU) with the highest dice number makes the first move. When it's your turn, all you have to do is tap your dice located right next to your game pieces. The dice is rolled three times until you get a six. In this case you can move your game piece onto the board. As the game goes on, you'll notice that the board lets you know what moves you can make in accordance with how you’ve rolled the dice. Simply move your game piece in the direction of the marked fields in order to place your game piece there. It's really easy to control and no further explanation is needed. You can exit the game at any time by pressing a small button at the top of your screen whereby a small confirmation window appears.
Journey is a story mode, in which you have can discover new features and game boards. There are extra fields that appear on the game board (save field, bonus field and token field) as well as special tokens (MoveOut token, PushBack token and Blocker token) that you can activate when one of your game pieces lands on a token field. Don't forget that you have to unlock these extra features before being able to use them. You'll find more detailed explanations to all these features in the Help section on the main screen.
You can, for example, places all of your game pieces onto the game board with the MoveOut token or push back your opponent's game piece by six spots with the PushBak token. Even though I enjoyed playing Pachee without all of these extra features, they do add a bit of sparkle to this good game. The fact that you have to unlock these features first, motivates you to do well in story-mode.
In Custom Game you can select a board design as well as decide what fields and tokens to have on your game board. This only works with extra features that you have already unlocked. Once you've completed this first menu screen, you can determine the number of CPU or real opponents you would like to play against. Funnily enough, you can let four computer opponents play against each other, although don't ask me why anyone would do that :)
In your settings, you can toggle the sound on/off, turn emoticons on/off and turn the easy mode on/off (although I found this mode to be anything but easy).
In Help you'll find clearly illustrated explanations of fields and tokens.
Pachee's greatness is based largely on its modern interpretation of a classic game. Yet even the standard version was loads of fun for me. This game leaves me no room for criticism. Everything about this game is well-done, including the controls.
Speed & Stability
Pachee ran smoothly and without any lags during our test.
Pachee (Full Version) can be downloaded from the Android Market for €1,99. You can also try out the lite version of Pachee for free.
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