Big2 Poker in Review – A Slightly Better Option

big2poker1A little over a week ago, I wrote a review on one of the two Big Two type games. As a matter of comparison, I thought it incumbent on me to check out the other one. This card game has been a source of enjoyment for me throughout the various milestones in my life. So, to be able to play it on one of my all-time favorite mobile platforms (iTouch) in all its versions and renditions was and is a must.

big2poker2The developer, Hug Life Inc, does a good job describing the game. Taken from their iTunes Store page:

“Big2 is a card game similar to A$$hole, Crazy Eights, Bullsh*t, and Winner as  the objet is to be the first player to discard all of his or her cards.”

Further instruction and explanation is given on the wikipedia.org entry on Big Two:

“The dealer begins dealing out the cards singly, starting with the person of his right. The cards are dealt out among the players as far as they can go while retaining an equal number of cards for each player…

At the beginning of each game, the player with the 3♦ (diamonds)  starts by either playing it singly or as part of a combination, leading to the first trick. Play proceeds counter-clockwise, with normal climbing-game rules applying: each player must play a higher card or combination than the one before, with the same number of cards. Players may also pass

When all but one of the players have passed in succession the trick is over (some variations have when 1 player has passed the trick is over), and the cards are gathered up and a new trick is started by the last player to play. When a player plays the 2♠ (spades)  either as a single or as part of a pair of 2s, it is often customary for that player to start the next trick immediately by leading a new card or combination, since the 2♠  (spades)  cannot be beaten whether as a single or as part of a pair of 2s. The game continues until all but one player runs out of cards.”

big2poker3So, how does Big2 fare as an iDevice rendition of an amazingly addictive game? It fares pretty well. It addresses some of the complaints and implements some of the things I wish for in a good Big Two iDevice game.

Despite the low rating it has (currently 2 out of 5), this is an entertaining game. The majority of complaints come from the game crashing, but in the two + weeks I had and played this game, it never crashed on me. One of the people who complained said that it didn’t work for their jailbroken iPhone, so this may be an issue.

big2poker4Big2 has some features that places it above other Big Two iDevice games. One feature is a comprehensive help option. It will teach you all the rules and intricacies of the game. Granted it is not interactive and relegated to just text on a screen, but it does go in-depth as to how to play the game. Also, the origins feature is informative in giving the background of the game.

Another feature that helps this game is its options. You can choose from 4 different deck patterns, whether to have the sound on or off, if you want to play clockwise or counter-clockwise, and the difficulty level. There is also an option to change your wager from $1 to $5 to $10. This will determine how fast the game goes by as the first to win $100 wins.

big2poker5One of the critiques of the first Big Two game reviewed was the lack of a fast forward option. In Big2, you can fast forward the gameplay by touching the middle. This is an extreme boon for those who want the game to progress at a steady pace instead of plodding along. While it may be a little disorienting as to figuring out whose turn it is, the highlighting of the player’s name when it is their turn mitigates this.

Graphically, this game fares better. The green background is reminiscent of the green cloth used by poker players. The ability to change the card design may be trite, but it shows thoughtfulness towards aesthetics.

One gripe with this game is, again, the lack of variation in gameplay. It may be that the ability to change the rules adds programming challenges, but an addition of this option will add a true feeling to the local flavors Big Two has. Another gripe I have is the difficulty level. Even on hard mode, I find myself winning more often than not. While this may be attributed to my playing skills, there does seem to lack that difficulty level playing with other real people brings.

On the other hand, with the promise of multiplayer support, this game may get the boost it needs to becoming the best digital Big Two game. Until this option is released, Big2 is priced one dollar cheaper at $1.99 instead of its original $2.99. If you’ve played Big Two before and desire it in an iDevice form, then this is the game to get. I would suggest getting it at $1.99 price instead of the $2.99 price tag though which means sooner than later.

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App Summary
Title:Big2 Poker (v 1.2)Developer:Hug Life Inc
Price:$1.99 (sale)App Size:0.9 MB
  • Help Page
  • Fast Forward
  • Promised Multiplayer
  • Lack of Gameplay Options
  • Difficulty Level

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