Summary Cansta is a card game played between two or four people (as a partnership), in which the aim is to make melds of seven cards of the same rank (all the sevens for example). This forms a canasta and allows you go out. Your melds are then scored and the first team to 5000 points is the winner.
Description Type: Card Game
Players: 1 player
Age: Any age
Game Time: 1-2 hours
Developer or Designer: KARMAN Games
Publisher: KARMAN Games
Customisable colour scheme
No multiplayer mode
Won't let you leave yourself with one card
The rules to Canasta for the Android are exactly the same as the physical card game, but while everything looks very jolly and exciting, it fails to deliver fun.
I remember Fridays nights round at my grandparents, when we would play canasta, and have great time, not only playing the game, but socialising. And that is exactly what this Android app lacks. Despite it traditionally being a four-player partnership game, there is no multiplayer mode. You can't pass the tablet round and take turns, and even more surprising, you cannot connect with friends online. Canasta would be such a good medium for creating online friends because you team up, but KARMAN Games really missed a trick here.
It is surprising, because they gone all out on everything else, such as choosing your background colour scheme and the type of deck you play with.
Although there is an in-game tutorial, I found playing very confusing. Everything is packed very tightly on the screen, making it look far too busy. This isn't helped by a permanent advert covering a quarter of the screen. It is also difficult to tell whose cards are whose because they are all put in front of one player instead of the 'person' who played them.
Another aspect that I found very frustrating is the fact that you are not allowed to be left with one card your hand. In a usual game of canasta, you have to form a canasta (meld of seven cards) before you can go out.
In most cases, at the end of your turn, you will throw a card from your hand into the discard pile, but if you only have one card left, and have yet to form a canasta, it means you can't throw away, and the next person has their turn.
In this app, it will not go to the next person's turn until you throw a card away, but if you only have one card, it won't let you discard it either. This leaves you in a stalemate unless you retract your go (i.e. take back the the playable card you place in your meld) and throw a perfectly useable card away.
Canasta has so much potential to be a good game app, but KARMAN Games failed to deliver.