Codex Gamicus

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.


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.


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 equals 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 obviously worth 10. Kings, Queens and Jacks are also worth 10 each, and the Ace is worth either one or 11 (which it's value is automatically determined by the game). Jokers do not exist in this version (see the Trivia section in regards to the other Vector 21 versions they appear in).

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


  • 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, Jokers added to the deck once more, and had 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.
  • The cartridge also included a non-playable game demo of the Vectrex 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) and a 3D Narrow Escape/3D Crazy Coaster color wheel is required to run the demo.
  • Vector 21 was followed up by Royal 21, a bit of a cross between Solitaire, Blackjack and Tetris, although it was never officially stated by Fury Unlimited as to being a sequel though.
  • A version for mobile phones was also released.


Fury Unlimited official site

Stage Select review (9/10)