Trex VIP review
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Trex VIP review

Our Review by Campbell Bird on June 7th, 2018
Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: VEXED BY TREX
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This card game can be a pretty good time, but this digital form of it has a few too many issues.

Developer: Diving Dove Studios

Price: Free
Version: 1.5
App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2

Graphics/Sound Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starblankstarblankstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar

If you’re anything like me, then the word Trex probably doesn’t mean much to you. As it turns out though, Trex is actually a really popular card game from the Middle East that mixes elements of Hearts, Solitaire, and more into a sort of tournament for four players to enjoy. Trex VIP is an attempt to bring this card game to phones and tablets, but this digitized version leaves a few things to be desired.

Card chameleon

Trex is a card game played with traditional playing cards where four people compete in several different “kingdoms” to score the most points possible. Each “kingdom” is essentially a different, four-person card game, but score is kept between each of these different rounds, with the best performer across all of the “kingdoms” wins the game.

Some of these “kingdoms” are pretty familiar to something like Hearts, while others are pretty new experiences entirely. For example, there’s a game mode where players try to empty their hands in as few turns as possible while stacking each card suit in sequential order, and there’s even a game type where players have to follow suits but try to take as few hands as possible throughout.

Slippery strategy

If you’re new to Trex VIP, playing your first few games can feel pretty rough. The shifting rule sets and unfamiliar game types will definitely leave you scratching your head as to how you’re supposed to win, but you can develop some rudimentary strategies to help you perform reasonably well. All that said though, Trex VIP can definitely set you up for success or failure through the luck of the draw, so you can’t always win reliably.

Once you’ve played a few rounds and decide how you like playing the game best, Trex VIP offers some surprisingly deep options for playing custom games. There’s even a game mode that combines all of Trex’s rule sets into a single round, which can make for a pretty crazy game mode that’s also pretty fun.

Multiplayer misgivings

It’s pretty easy to see how Trex can be a pretty good time if you have four buddies to play with, but Trex VIP is sorely lacking in its multiplayer department. As of this writing, every attempt at entering a multiplayer match has resulted in my being matched with AI bots instead of real players.

Playing with bots in Trex VIP isn’t the worst experience, especially as they are formidable opponents while you wrap your mind around the game, but even sticking with Trex VIP as a single-player game has problems too. If you ever exit a game by closing the app or even locking your screen, the game you were playing just disappears with no option to resume it. You have to play full matches only, which is not particularly ideal or realistic on mobile devices.

The bottom line

I’m glad I picked up Trex VIP, but only insofar as it taught me a new card game. Outside of that, the experience of playing said card game in this app is not so hot. Between the apparent lack of players online and the game’s refusal to suspend single-player games, there’s not much reason to play Trex using Trex VIP.

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