Hoyle Official Book of Games: Volume 1 (also known as Hoyle’s Book of Games: Volume One and Hoyle’s: Volume 1) is a digital card game collection developed and published by Sierra for MS-DOS, Macintosh, Amiga, and Atari ST computers in 1989.
The first in a series of parlor game collections developed by Sierra, Hoyle’s Official Book of Games includes six different card games (Crazy Eights, Old Maid, Hearts, Gin Rummy, Cribbage, and Klondike) with 16-color EGA graphics, mouse controls, and AI opponents. While the name refers to the collected works of 18th century rulewriter Edmond Hoyle, the game is a licensed game of Hoyle Products.
The game is notable for its use of AI characters, some of which are guest characters from other Sierra games of that era (such as Larry Laffer from Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham from King’s Quest, and Roger Wilco from Space Quest). To give the illusion that players are playing against actual opponents, each of the 18 selectable characters are shown from the bust-up (with facial expressions that change as the game plays) and have uniquely scripted text dialogue (including special conversations between certain characters).
It is also notable for being one of the few non-adventure games to utilize the studio’s Sierra Creative Interpreter (SCI) scripting tool, and is considered a spiritual successor to the lead designer’s earlier game Hi-Res Cribbage. It was later remade in 1993 as Hoyle Classic Card Games.
- Crazy Eights – 2-4 players.
- Old Maid – Four-player.
- Hearts – 3-4 players.
- Gin Rummy – Two-player.
- Cribbage – Two-player.
- Klondike – One-player. The game includes three variations: Original (cards drawn one at a time, players can only go through their Stack once), Flip 3 Unlimited (cards drawn three at a time, no limit on refreshing the Stack), and Flip 1 Unlimited (cards drawn one at a time, no limit on refreshing the Stack). Players are cumulatively scored between games (or “hands”), with each hand deducting 50 points and winning the game adding 500 points (or 5 points per card in the foundation, if the game is not won).
The game includes 18 AI opponents, some of which are based on characters from other Sierra games and some of which are based on Sierra employees and their families.
Each character has a difficulty level for four of the six games (Crazy Eights, Hearts, Gin Rummy, and Cribbage), either Novice, Amateur, or Expert. Some characters (namely The Kid, Warren, and Thelma) are Expert in all games.
Each character also has their own musical score, some of which are from the games they are based on.
The More-Serious Players
- The Kid
- Warren Schwader – Based on the game’s main designer and programmer.
- Sol Silverman
- Colonel Henri Dijon – Guest character from The Colonel’s Bequest.
- Shelly LeBlanc
- Officer Sonny Bonds – Guest character from the Police Quest series (although his design is more akin to series creator Jim Walls).
The Not-So Serious Players
- Larry Laffer – Guest character from the Leisure Suit Larry series.
- Bulldog – A literal bulldog, likely a reference to the Dogs Playing Poker series of paintings.
- Jerry – Based on one the game’s artists.
- King Graham – Guest character from the King’s Quest series.
- Roger Wilco – Guest character from the Space Quest series.
- Princess Rosella – Guest character from the King’s Quest series.