Friday, March 6, 2009

iPhone Game Review: 3 Card Pro

Poker is one of the few card games that has seemingly infinite variations. Texas Hold ‘Em, Let ‘Em Ride, Three and Four card, and stud are just a few of the thousands of variations that there are in the poker world. Some are well known, and have World Series and television contracts. Others are less known, but are equally enjoyable and loved. No matter what version of poker you want to play, it looks like Avalinx has a version ready for you.

Three Card Pro is the newest game in Avalinx’s PRO series of casino games for the iPhone and iPod Touch. They decided that it was time to introduce people to a variation of poker that most do not know. To do this, they utilized their typical perfect style and design, along with flawless game play, and set up an easy-to-learn and enjoyable game for the iPhone. Three Card Pro allows you to learn a variation of poker that you had never heard of, and it does it without causing you a sweat.

Did you know that As-Nas was a game that was brought from Persia to France, where it became known as Poque? Did you know that Poque was then transported to new Orleans in the mid 1800s by the native French population? Did you know that the southern drawl transformed the name Poque to the name Poker that we know today? Well, you now do. Plus, you can know a whole ton of other facts too if you just read the ‘History’ section of Three Card Pro.

Like most of Avalinx’s games, Three Card Pro contains a ‘History’ section that serves to educate and teach new players about the game. Be it for trivia, poker night, or just because you like to know odd things about French wording, the ‘History’ section is always a good read. I really like the fact that you are able to read up about the past of the game you are playing. Most applications and games do not have something like this, so it makes sure that Three Card Pro stands out above the crowd. Plus, it also serves to make the game feel polished and complete.

Speaking of the feel, Three Card Pro is perfect and flawless, just like all other games in the PRO series. The touch controls are great, the game play easy, and the menus intuitive. Frankly, it seems as though Avalinx has a machine for popping out great games that are top-notch; that machine deserves overtime pay. Three Card Pro is a neat looking game, and it feels fully polished when you play it.

One of the nice features in Three Card Pro is the ‘Ask the Dealer’ option. During the game, you are allowed to ask the dealer what they recommend doing. The dealer seems to run on averages and preordained rules that big-money players follow. Sure, some of you are more risky then the dealer (there is a reason that I keep having to restart the game), and some are less risky; however, the dealer gives you a good base to start off of. I really like this idea, as it ensures that all new players (and most to Three Card Poker will be new) know how to play the game, and it makes sure that they are ready to. ‘Ask the Dealer’ is a nice way to make sure that players do not have to sweat when learning a new game.

Really, I have no complaints about Three Card Pro as a game or as an application. Instead, I have a complaint to Avalinx. Guys, I think that it is time that you make a crappy game. I am getting tired of having really good games thrown at me, and I really want to give something a really bad review. It is just an itch that I need to scratch. You guys should make a game that we can all insult, show that you are human, and give that top-notch machine a break. Call it ‘Just For Barga Shampoo’ or something like that, and let me review it. Or maybe do something to challenge the status quo; take on Apple and their Poker application, or something like that. Anything to get us talking more is a good thing.
Oh well, I tried…

Overall, I believe that Three Card Pro is yet another amazing game from Avalinx. The game play is stellar, the graphics good, and the learning curve is gentle. The addition of the ‘History’ section, as with most of their products, just adds to the feel of the game. Three Card Pro is polished as usual, and it is an outstanding product. As with most of the PRO series, Three Card Pro gets a five-out-of-five star review.

Three Card Pro has not been rated by the ESRB. The game is currently available on the iPhone and iPod Touch

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