Depending on your age, Bridge Master might be amongst some of your best software memories.
I remember games like Police Quest, Commander Keen, Sam & Max Hit the Road – and of course, Bridge Master.
At the time, I’m not sure that I had any idea what I was doing when it came to bridge. But when I saw some recent screen captures of Bridge Master’s gameplay, some memories of playing this came back.
Who remembers Bridge Master 2000?
Here are some facts about the award winning bridge software.
- Bridge Master was first released in the 90s. A lot of users are most familiar with Bridge Master 2000, but an earlier version of the software with slightly simpler graphics was released in the early 90s. It was only later that it would be updated into the one we’re all thinking of now.
- It’s here thanks to Fred Gitelman. We all know Fred a little – at least, you’ll get to know him once you’ve played bridge for a bit. He’s an integral part of bridge history, and we can thank him for introducing Bridge Master.
- Bridge Master’s deals can still be played online. Bridge Master is more than just nostalgic software. BBO users can still have access to Bridge Master and all its original deals right here, free of charge.
- The original retail price was $60. Now, Bridge Master is available for free – but at the time, you could get it sent to you on CD for cash. (For the record, a CD was a large, reflective spinning disk used for storing data or music – does anyone remember these?)
- The game had 5 difficulty levels. Just like your average first-person shooter, Bridge Master came with different difficulty levels – although unlike your average first-person shooter, you’re not aiming a machine gun at a uniformed zombie.
- Bridge Master included 177 different hands. Although some sources list the number as 180, the original manual and descriptions for the game all say 177 – and so that’s the number we’ll go with.
- No bidding is required. Bridge Master is designed to teach players how to play bridge. To achieve this, it removed the bidding aspect from the game – and players only focus on which moves win the contract (with urging from the system in the right direction). See how we eventually got to Just Declare, another great BBO-powered teaching tool?
- Learn to Play Bridge was a free extra. If you purchased Bridge Master, you’d get Learn to Play Bridge for free. That’s right, the ACBL and BBO bridge trainer software has been around a lot longer than most might imagine.
- The original manual for the game is still available online. Those who collect older games just as often like having their manuals in the same place for reference purposes. (And, there are some who read manuals like fiction…) Click the link to find the manual, listed by chapter.
- Bridge movies were included. Bridge Master also used the introduction of bridge movies that can be recorded and played back frame-by-frame for a closer look at what just happened. Recording your game is one of the most important parts of learning – and this feature was pretty useful.