|Release dates||April 4, 2006|
2009, February, 2018 (re-releases)
|Mode||Single player only|
Vector 21 is one of the very few card games for the Vectrex, being a cross between Blackjack and Solitaire. It is the player's goal to try to score a point value of 21 or less in a card stack as many times as possible without busting (going over 21) before running out of time.
Each game begins with a stack of cards at the bottom of the screen with a total of three minutes to complete the game (which the timer is at the top center of the screen). A card will be dealt, which it will appear at the bottom center of the screen until it is placed into a stack. The player must then decide which pile to place it in, from one through four. The object is to do this as many times as possible without busting in a stack to add to the player's score. If a stack equals 21 or contains five cards that either equals or has a value of less than 21, that stack will be removed from the game.
Cards are worth their face value; i. e., the two card is worth two points, the three card is worth three, etc., onto the 10 card, which is worth 10. Kings, Queens and Jacks are also worth 10 each, and the Ace is worth either one or 11 (which its value is automatically determined by the game). Jokers do not exist in this version (see Trivia section below).
If a player busts, that stack will be removed from the game, and although there is no penalty to the player, they will not score any points from the bust either.
There are also several bonuses rather than just having a stack add up to 21 (which is a Blackjack) as well. Points are also awarded for a Five Card Fury (when five cards are placed in a stack that equals less than 21), as well as there being a time bonus awarded if the player is able to go through the entire deck of cards before time runs out with a minute or more remaining on the clock.
- Value of 21 in a stack--100 points
- Blackjack (21 points with an Ace + 10)--200 or 300 points (having a Jack in a stack is worth more)
- Five Card Fury--300 points
- Five Card Combo (five cards totaling 21)--400 points
- Time Bonus--200 or 500 points
Pressing the buttons on the controller will place a card in a corresponding pile; i. e. button one will place it in the first stack (at the left side of the screen), button two will place a card in stack two (which will be to the right of the first stack), etc.
Note: there is no onscreen indication as to where the stacks are.
- This was the first ever card game for the Vectrex at the time it was released.
- Only 121 copies were made.
- Along with this title, Vector 21: A Fistful of Wildcards! was also released, with only 21 copies made, which it came in special packaging and Jokers were added to the deck, and Vector 21: OMEGA also had special packaging, with Jokers added to the deck once more, and there was also a "Psycho 7" mode included as well. Only one copy was made and it sold for $360.00 U. S.
- After the run of 121 copies sold out, it became available as a ROM download for Vectrex emulators in December, 2009. It was also re-released as part of the "budget games" FURY lineup in 2018, which included only the soldered game board with no packaging (instructions, box, etc.).
- The cartridge also included a non-playable game demo of the 3D Imager homebrew Star Fury 3D. The player can only engage shields, fire, and control the angle of the shots in this demo. A Vectrex 3D Imager (or modern day reproduction) is required to run the demo and a 3D Narrow Escape/3D Crazy Coaster Color Wheel is suggested for best use.
- Vector 21 was followed up by Royal 21, a bit of a cross between Solitaire, Blackjack and Tetris. FURY also released Hexed!, a card game with a supernatural theme.
- A version for mobile phones was also released.
- FURY official site
- Click on the tabber below for a review.
Vector 21 was and still is, at the time of this writing the only card game ever made to date for the Vectrex, combining Blackjack with Solitaire, and it’s a very fun and addicting combination of the two.
In this game, the player is allowed four stacks in order to try to combine cards that are dealt from a deck to total 21; doing so will clear a stack and add points to the player’s score (which isn’t shown until the end of the game). Going over 21 results in a “bust” (no, not the kind of “bust” where a topless vector woman is shown, ha ha) with no points awarded. Points are awarded by a player’s stack adding up to 21/having a Blackjack or by having five cards in a stack adding up to less than 21. Obviously numbered cards are worth their face value a 2 card is worth 2 points, a 3 is worth 3, etc. but the Jack, Queen and King are worth 10 each, and an Ace is worth 1 or 11 (which it’s worth is automatically figured by the game depending on the stack). The game is also timed, as running out of time before going through the entire deck ends the game.
There’s not a lot in the sound department to Vector 21, just short musical interludes when a player earns points from a stack or busts, but the sound is adequate, unless you have a(n) famous/infamous “buzzing” Vectrex, then that really stands out when you play the game, unfortunately (as it’s pretty quiet for the most part). The graphics are also adequate cards are totally blank, aside from their value as is the animation, just pretty much the flipping of the cards going on, although there’s no flicker or anything.
The only problem I have with this game is that the stacks aren’t numbered, as there’s no way to position a card over a stack, and maybe pressing a button on the controller to drop it into that stack. Unfortunately the joystick isn’t used, just the numbers 1-4 on the controller correspond with the stacks on the screen (press a button and a card will appear in the stack the number on the controller corresponds with), which, again, aren’t numbered. So you’re going to screw up at some point and accidentally press the wrong button on the controller and put a card where you don’t mean to put it, usually with disastrous results. However it appears this problem was fixed by George of Fury Unlimited (the game’s creator), since a version for cell phones has been released since (Vector 21's 121 copies are currently sold out), and it appears from the screenshots at his site that the stacks are numbered this time around; I can’t comment on how this version plays since my cell phone is too obsolete to run a game like this, and I’m not replacing it until the day it dies. But it’s only $1.99 U. S., so that’s a very good deal indeed, I’d definitely check it out if you’re into card games.
Because as I mentioned the game being sold out earlier it’s kind of funny how I’ve seen in forums before about people complaining about how what few games that originally came out for the Vectrex were shooters, yet when they get something different like this it takes two years for it’s small run of 121 copies to sell out. I would ask if you could feel the irony there, but I guess people just didn’t want a card game for the Vectrex.
The package was rounded out by having a demo of Star Fury 3D included, but you have to have a 3D Imager or a modern reproduction of it, which I don’t, so I can’t comment on it. But if I recall correctly (which I’ll admit I’m being too lazy to go to my room, look it up and check) there isn’t much to do, just fire weapons and/or activate shields or something, there isn’t really any gameplay per se in it. But there’s plenty of fun, addicting gaming for Vector 21 though.
Review written by Darryl