Video game review: Concentration

Back in the day, there used to be a game show on television called Concentration. It ran for 14 years from 1958 until 1973. Since then, there have been a couple of other versions of the show aired. The one I am most familiar with was called Classic Concentration. It was hosted by Alex Trebek and ran from 1987 until 1991 with reruns airing until 1993. Concentration was a great show because it was easy yet hard at the same time. The two players would start out with a game of Memory. Each of the 30 tiles held prizes for the players to match. Underneath those tiles was a rebus puzzle, a word or phrase that had to be figured out using pictures, letters and numbers held together with either a plus or minus sign. While the matching part of the game was fairly easy since there were only 15 objects to match, the rebus was usually rather difficult as the pictures could represent a number of answers. In the final round, the winning player would match cars from the tiles in front of them. The player would win the last car matched.

I have played many variations of the Concentration video game. There was a DOS version for the Commodore 64 that I played as well as a NES version. Last night, I played a new version for the PC from All Games Free. This downloadable game stays true to the television show. Unfortunately, that makes this all too easy for a video game. I played the one player version of the game on the medium setting. My competitor was rather slow, meaning I won just about every round on every game I played. He won two rounds of the 6 that I played. (I completed 3 games and there are two rounds to each game where you play against a competitor. He won one round in two different games.) When I got to the bonus round to play for the car, I easily matched all of the cars well within the time limit. The rebus part of the game was a bit more difficult but still fairly easy to guess without removing too many of the tiles first. Of the 6 rounds I played, my competitor correctly guessed two of the rebus puzzles while I solved the rest.

The matching part of this game may be good for small children or someone interested in working on their memory skills. However, the rebus part will be too difficult for children. I am hesitant to recommend an adult/child pairing for this game because the matching part of the game requires at least a little bit of reading skills. All in all, this game is only good for sentimental values. If you really enjoyed the Concentration shows, you will probably enjoy this game for awhile. Though I doubt you will want to play beyond the 30 minute trial.