March 16, 2010

"Sword And Poker" Stabs Its Way Into Our Hearts

SwordNPoker.JPGThis iPhone/iPod Touch game is something special. It's so simple, yet enthralling, highly addicting and fun. It's even got that "just one more turn" feel that make so many of the classic games .. well, classics.

Here's the elevator pitch: Sword & Poker one part an RPG character-building dungeon crawl, including gathering treasure and parlaying your riches into better items like armor and weapons, and one part Poker Matching Game.

And yes, the beef of the game is on a grid like poker board. You and a monster square off mano e monstero, taking turns trying to match 2 cards from your hand to make poker hands with the 3x3 grid of cards on the board. If you can make a match either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally then you deal damage to your opponent. Keep it up and soon you'll find yourself with a dead monster at your feet and a vast dungeon chalk full of riches waiting just for you.

SwordNPokerSS1.jpgThe amount of damage you do for any given hand depends on the rarity of the hand you played and the weapon you have equipped. At first scoring One Pair may knock the monster in the chin for 1 point of damage. But save up your dungeon booty, upgrade to a samurai sword, and soon you'll be hacking 10 points out of the baddie with a single pair of 2's. Something like a Flush may net you 30 damage, slicing some of the mid ranged monsters in half.

Of course the monsters are doing their best to deal damage back at you, and their abilities and capacity for hurt are closely tied to the type of critter you're fighting.

The game is well-flavored here. Heavy hitting monsters are the most straight forward. Hulking minotaurs and shambling mummies deal massive amount of damage with simple brutish hands. Dark, slinky creatures might not put up such a powerful upfront fight, but they'll make up for it with vampiric powers that siphon off your health, or through sneaky trixy plays like stealing cards from your hand. There are even funky spells that rearrange cards on the board halfway through a round, or spells that heal and steal. It's all there, and it's balanced very, very well.

Therefore we cannot recommend this game enough. If you have an iPod, if you like poker, and salivate over grinding through better equipment RPG style, then this game is totally for you. We give it 4.5 stars.

Read More in: Gaming News | Our Game Reviews | RPGs | iPhone

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at March 16, 2010 4:45 PM

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