Word Poker Live Free: Written iPhone Game Review
It seems like there’s never a shortage of word games in the App Store. Some are simple, and some make plays off of old board games we know and love. However, there are a few games which completely shatter the mold.
One of these breakthroughs is Word Poker Live Free. Developed by Graphite Fusion, this is a brand new game which is unique and fun to play. Using a combination of word creation and poker, it’s sure to get you hooked in no time.
Concept and Gameplay:
Word Poker Live Free is a little challenging to learn, but you’ll be raking in the dough in no time once you get the hang of the game. Even if you’re not familiar with the rules of poker, the game is easy to play. This is the first game of its kind that I’ve seen for any device, and I applaud the developers at Graphite Fusion for coming up with such a unique idea for a game.
From the main screen you can choose your table settings and join a game, check out achievements you’ve earned, manage your account, visit the store, and access game settings. When you start the game you’re allowed a certain amount of money. Once you join a game you start with three letters as your hand. As the hand progresses you can either fold, bet, check, raise, or call. Whoever has the highest scoring word gets the majority of the pot. If there is a tie between players, the winnings are divided equally.
Prior knowledge of how to play poker is helpful, but not necessary. Instead of creating pairs and flushes, you’re simply trying to create the highest scoring word.
Something I noticed while playing is there are a few words which the game didn’t recognize as legitimate. One was “druid” and another was “yells”. I’m not totally sure how the game validates words, but having this happen was disappointing.
(Update: the word “yells” is, in fact, in the dictionary but whether or not the word is valid, if a player does not win the table, then the word will be shown in red with the value of the word next to it. The red color does not mean the word is invalid.)
One of the coolest features Word Poker offers is live game rooms. Tables are completely random, so you never know who your opponents will be. Plus, players are free to come and go as they please, just like a real poker table. This keeps the game fun and interesting because the more players at the table, the higher the stakes.
The ability to choose tables based on your buy in preference is great, because players can choose based on their skill level. This helps to keep beginners from losing all their winnings in a single game.
Another great feature is in-game chat. This allows you to talk with fellow players and it creates a friendly atmosphere. However, you have the ability to disable chat if you wish. I love this option because not everyone wants to communicate with others in games. It definitely eliminates the awkward situations where people try to strike up a conversation and you feel bad about ignoring them. Honestly I wish more games offered the option to disable chat.
Word Poker Live Free also allows you to connect through Facebook, earn achievements, and receive daily chip bonuses simply for opening the game. Achievements are only visible in the game, however, and aren’t connected to your Game Center account.
If you run out of chips you can purchase 100k chips for $1.99. Along with chips, you can unlock avatars to display next to your username. The prices for these avatars vary from $0.99 to $1.99.
As always, you can never lose when trying a new game for free. There’s a paid version for $0.99 which removes ads. Though the game needs some improvement with recognizing valid words, the concept is wonderful. I recommend giving the game a shot even if you don’t know how to play poker. With a bit of patience, you’ll be the star of the table in no time.
Word Poker Live Free is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
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