Poker Night: A night in with some peculiar poker faces.

Poker Night Download

Play On: Windows XP/Vista/7 & Mac

Rating: 86%

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Prepare for a different kind of poker night in a very different kind of club. In Poker Night at the Inventory, you'll deal with Penny Arcade's clever, cunning Tycho, Team Fortress 2's hulking Heavy, Homestar Runner's self-proclaimed "awesome icon" Strong Bad and the hyperkinetic "rabbity-thing" from Sam & Max.

Game Review

Poker Night game

Tell tale Games' Poker Night at the Inventory is an addictive game that has all the makings of a regular poker party with your friends. Here, your friends are four very distinct fictional animation characters from some popular games from the same development company. You have Max the rabbit from the Sam & Max series of games, Tycho from Penny Arcade, Strong Bad from Homestar Runner, and finally there's Heavy who featured in Team Fortress 2. These four, totally diverse and unique characters meet up with you to play a few games of poker, and you can 'bet' the night is going to heat up.

Odd foursome

Each character brings its idiosyncrasies to the game. You will find Heavy tends to hold on to his hands for the longest time, while the hyper comic Tycho is sometimes too quick to fold. If he feels he has a good hand, then Tycho will stick around until the end. Max is the emotional one in this group. He plays like there's no tomorrow, sometimes haphazardly. Strong Bad, because of his domineering attitude, is aggressive in game play too, while Heavy has a perfect poker face made for bluffing. It's very hard to tell what he is thinking.

poker night: characters

These four random characters will keep you suitably entertained even when your luck is down.

The developers of Poker Night have ensured that they draw the four characters exactly how they appear in their original games. This makes for an odd combination because each character's style is completely different. Max the rabbit is drawn in a cartoon fashion, while Heavy has a 3D look to him, complete with his trade-mark bullet belt. Strong Bad, decked out in boxing gloves, is neither animal nor human, yet he seems to fit in the group pretty well. Tycho is the only lad you can probably relate to in the bunch. In spite of their strange grouping, each character interacts with one another in a familiar manner. Their voices are enacted very well, and some of their comic routines are genuinely hilarious.

You find Heavy occasionally breaking off into his battle yarns, while the laconic Max laments that he does not understand what the cards mean. The dialogue is very well scripted and there are a number of quips in each character's repertoire. Some of their comments refer to other games, while some quips have swear words. Thankfully, you can bleep them out, if you wish. These speeches are cleverly woven into the game play, which makes the whole sequence flow with a natural rhythm. The animation and speech rendition is top class.

When to hold 'em, when to fold 'em

In spite of knowing the psychology behind these players, some of the rounds can be quite challenging. Of course, you have the option of either playing the game in an easy or hard mode, depending on your own poker skills. As you win each round, you can collect unique card decks and various other items.

Poker Night screenshot

The scenario is set up in an extremely interesting manner. The conversation is typical of a group of old friends, familiar with one another, joking and chatting about this and that. The game takes place in an upscale club, called the Inventory, where the stakes run high, along with tempers and passions. In this winner take all, no limit tournament, all players begin with $10,000 and play as many rounds of Texas Hold 'Ems as needed to knock all but the winner out.

The game proceeds according to the rules of Texas Hold 'Em, so you're expected to know these really well. You must also know when to call and when to fold, or else you will be the first one to walk out the door. Even if you get booted off the table, you can stick around and watch the survivors battle it out. Their actions and banter are entertaining enough to watch.

All the poker games have no limits and start with either $100 or $200 blinds. The blinds go up after every three hands. The players each get two initial cards, based on which they can call, raise or fold. The game proceeds as long as there are at least two players in the game. After the first round of betting, three community cards are exposed. The fourth and fifth community cards are revealed after the second and third rounds.

Poker Night game play

New twists with an old favourite

Some of the bonuses in the Poker Night game are very innovative. For example, you can unlock a new table after a win. These tables come in a variety of styles, from an Automata type table to one that is adorned with Trogdor the Burninator. You can also unlock new card decks after three wins, and these decks feature the games Homestar Runner and TF2. The best of the lot are the TF2 sets. You can also win special items from each of the characters.

You have options to control the incessant banter by setting limits on it, in case it starts to irritate you or spoil your concentration. There is no multiplayer option. However, so you're stuck playing the game with these four zany friends. The background music is made up of the themes of the games that these four characters originally came from.

Poker Night game attempts to give you a unique experience by bringing four well known game characters to join you in the game. The original game play and slick production quality is well worth the $5 entry price.

Verdict

Poker Night game wins hands down in originality and execution. The game has great addictive value as it urges players to play many rounds in the hope of winning some truly unique card decks and special edition Team Fortress 2 items. The characters are the life of the party here, and the poker rounds are a challenging experience. The realistic feel of spending time with friends at a club playing texas holdem is executed to perfection. It would be nice to have a multiplayer option to break up the monotony of playing with the same four characters. Still, Poker Night is worth its small price and delivers loads of genuine fun.

Final Score: 86%

Poker Night game can be played in full version format now, on either Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 & Mac - simply click here to download a copy.

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