Absolute Space Poker is a truly unique game. Developed by ITIW, Absolute Space Poker manages to combine arcade style gameplay with the scoring elements of the world’s favorite card game. Probably best described as a cross between Space Invaders and Texas Hold’em, Absolute Space Poker is a challenging and original take on the vertical scrolling shooter.
Jumping right in to the game – the first thing you’ll notice is an oncoming field of flying cards. You’re in control of a little space-fighter and your aim is to shoot the cards to make a 5 card poker hand. The hands are ranked, just as they are in poker, and a higher value hand will net you more points. Shooting 5 diamonds will get you a flush, 3 jacks & 2 queen’s – a full house, and so on. The points per hand range in value from 100 for Ace high through to 5000 for a Royal Flush. You’ve got to use your skills to dodge all the cards you’re not interested in and to navigate in to position to fire on the cards you need to complete your hand.
After the completion of a hand, if you scored enough points, you’ll move on to the next round (there are 30 in total). Each round has a minimum points requirement and this means you won’t get away with just scoring pairs or three of a kind for very long. By the time you reach level 10 – it takes nothing less than a flush in order to progress to the next stage. This is easy to achieve early on, but the cards start to move faster and faster with every level – increasing the need for quick reactions and steady hands. If you crash into a card, you’ll score 0 points for that round.
The control system in Absolute Space Poker is extremely straightforward and easy to use – simply tilt the iPhone to manouevre your spaceship and tap the screen to fire. The sound and graphics are also pretty solid bu there are a few quirks – the ‘music’ does sound strangely like waves lapping at a beach and some of the cards seemed to dissapear off the screen just before they reach you.
Overall Absolute Space Poker is a very solid game, but could benefit from a bit more polish.
Absolute Space Poker requires the iPhone OS 2.0 or later and is compatible with both the iPhone and iPod Touch.