If you like games like Hexic or old school Tetris then keep reading, because the new craze is here in the form of Poker Smash.
It uses a great combination of Poker hands and slow motion to create great chain reactions and combos to smash the blocks off the screen. There are a number of different game types like Action, Timed, Puzzle and Custom mode to keep things interesting. They are all equally a barrel of fun and are all guaranteed to keep your nerves on edge.
The aim of the game is to stop your blocks from hitting the top of the screen as they scroll from the bottom up, like a Star Wars intro. The blocks are all marked with the initials and suits of the top five poker cards, 10, J, Q, K, A. The combination of these cards along with their suits to match poker hands will result in the blocks being smashed off the screen.
And if you think that could get tiresome (nearly damn impossible mind you) then you will find that the game throws in a time expiring ‘Challenge Hand’ every now and then to boost your points by thousands! You basically get challenged to make a Four of a Kind hand, or a Straight Flush in the span of seven seconds for example.
If that sounds impossible then at any time during the game you can use the bumpers to speed up the scrolling, or slow it down to make better hands - like slipping in an extra block to make a Four of a Kind instead settling for a Three of a Kind!
As you make combos and chain reactions, a little bar fills up that lets you use ‘Bombs’ to ‘smash’ away the troublesome blocks that are just plain in the way. To also spice things up, the background music and tempo picks up as you progress so you never feel like it’s getting boring. I have played this game for at least three hours straight on numerous occasions without even realising it.
While based on poker, this fun game does step things up a little to make it all worth playing and more challenging. For example, you cannot score by making a ‘Pair’ or ‘Two Pair’; to balance that you can make a ‘Five of a Kind’ hand with the aid of the slow motion bumper trigger and the bomb function.
If playing most arcade games like this one makes you feel lonely and bored, then fear not because there is a Multiplayer option that will allow you to play with friends, and the ominous voice that calls out the poker hands you make keeps you hooked until someone calls you to get off the box.
All in all this game has to be one of the easiest to play arcade games I’ve ever come across; the goals are clear, all the elements of the title are no mystery, and there is no way it can ever get old when you can beat your friends - sorry, smash your friends, with some poker hands in an explosive fashion. The graphics and features are all impressive and so is the sound.
You won’t regret investing in this game and adding it your Arcade collection, because I can guarantee whatever you thought was your favourite Arcade game just got knocked down a notch. This one gets 8.5/10!
Rez HD: You will happily play and finish the game over and over.
Poker Smash: Fun packed features and challenging achievements to keep you hooked.
Rez HD: Easy to finish the game in one concentrated sitting.
Poker Smash: Classic arcade game; but it can only ever dominate the arcade genre.