TouchMyApps » Card http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Fri, 17 Oct 2014 21:42:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.4 Get your free copy of Fairway Solitaire (full version) for the iPhone http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/01/09/get-your-free-copy-of-fairway-solitaire-full-version-for-the-iphone/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/01/09/get-your-free-copy-of-fairway-solitaire-full-version-for-the-iphone/#comments Wed, 09 Jan 2013 17:12:02 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=71675 Big Fish Games is now giving away free copies of their smash hit Fairway Solitaire, a mighty addictive variation of solitaire with a golf theme. This solitaire game with a humorous twist has the player attempting to clear all the cards in a hole (over 350 to play through) with “golf clubs” and playing cards in their own deck. … Read more]]>

fairway-solitaire-iphone-giveaway

Big Fish Games is now giving away free copies of their smash hit Fairway Solitaire, a mighty addictive variation of solitaire with a golf theme. This solitaire game with a humorous twist has the player attempting to clear all the cards in a hole (over 350 to play through) with “golf clubs” and playing cards in their own deck. The only way to capture a card is to use one from the deck that is either one number higher or lower than that on the playing field. The real fun lies in trying to string together a series of card runs, which in turn will unlock golf bucks (in-game currency) and other achievements.

Then there are the water and sand traps, golf shop with item upgrades, and of course, a peeved gopher (aka Gutsy McDivot) who’ll do anything to put a damper on your golf scores. Fairway Solitaire is one of the few iOS games where I’ve spent money on IAP to buy items within the game. If you’re a fan of casual games, especially of the solitaire variety, you’ll love this hit from Big Fish.

To score your free copy of Fairway Solitaire (full version) for the iPhone/iPod Touch, simply head over to Big Fish’s giveaway page. There you can enter your country, type in the captcha code and click the “Get it Now!” button. A promo code will then be given on the next page, where you can copy and paste it into iTunes (under redeem to the right on the main page) or the App Store app on iOS (scroll to the bottom of the “Featured” page, and you’ll see Redeem button). This giveaway has been going for a few days now, and there’s no mention on when it’ll end, so be sure to grab your code before the promotion runs its course.

Note: If you’re on your computer, you can click on this iTunes link to take you directly to the Code Redemption page on iTunes. 

This item is no longer available. (id:476127375) … Read more]]>
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Orions 2 in Review – The deck masters are back with a vengeance! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/06/13/orions-2-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/06/13/orions-2-in-review/#comments Mon, 13 Jun 2011 16:40:18 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=53312 Back in my university days, I used to be a huge fan of Magic The Gathering, probably the most well-known and successful Collectable Card Game ever. It always provided an excellent way to pass the time during those boring lectures and it was something to do in-between them as well. I have abandoned it since, … Read more]]>

Back in my university days, I used to be a huge fan of Magic The Gathering, probably the most well-known and successful Collectable Card Game ever. It always provided an excellent way to pass the time during those boring lectures and it was something to do in-between them as well. I have abandoned it since, unfortunately, mainly because of lack of time. But it seems the iOS is likely to change that, with some superb CCG type games appearing on the platform the last few months. The most recent of which is actually a sequel to a rather successful iOS release from a couple of years ago — Orions: Legend Of Wizards (TMA Review) — and is rather unimaginably titled Orions 2.

Orions 2 is a deep Collectable Card Games with some RPG and Turn-Based Strategy elements thrown on top.  The game takes place in the world of Orions – a group of magical islands floating in the midst of nothingness. Good and evil are fighting over dominance over the islands, each coalition putting forward their best sorcerers from one of the 6 elemental schools. Unfortunately this epic struggle is not supported by any kind of true campaign.

Whatever else is strapped on top, the essence of Orions is card based combat. Each turn you can cast a spell, whether it is summoning a creature into one of the 5 placeholders or a special effects one. Each spell costs a certain number of elemental mana, depending on its domain and level. Mana gets randomly added each turn, negating the need for careful resource management and making the game much more accessible to newcomers to the genre. Each school of magic has about a couple dozen cards, making for a substantial selection and deep tactical possibilities.

Another concession to making the game more accessible to the casual player is the absence of “hands”, with all cards in the deck accessible anytime. To balance this feature the cards in your deck can be used only once, and if you run out, you’ll need to resupply. You can get more cards at the nearby orion, depending on the amount of crystals you have and the buildings, constructed on the islands you own, or as a reward for defeating an enemy wizard. The crystals themselves are earned only through special buildings on the orions.

In addition to facing the enemy AI you can go on the internet and choose a flesh ‘n blood opponent over a Wi-Fi or 3G connection, or even hot-device pass ‘n play. The graphics haven’t changed from the original game minus new cards, and while being rich and lovingly drawn, look somewhat outdated on the iPhone 4’s Retina display.

If you couldn’t get enough of the original or are looking forward to getting a taste of the CCG genre on your iOS device, Orions 2 won’t disappoint. The deep tactical gameplay and the wide range of cards available offer unparalleled replayability, dented only by the tedious resource and card management in the campaign mode. The online component, however, further remedies the situation, opening up a huge world of worthy opponent for you to pitch your skills against. If only more attention had been devoted to polishing the graphics and the out-of-combat aspects of the game, Orions 2 would have not only been the best CCGs on the App Store, but also one of the best games overall.

With this I declare Orions 2 officially touched!

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Orions 2 Developer: Chillingo Ltd
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $2.99 App Size: 29.02MB
  • A LOT of different cards
  • Rich graphics
  • Balanced combat
  • Online match-ups
  • No story-driven campaign
  • Tedious resource management
  • Outdated graphics
  • Not much change from the original

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Necronomicon in Review – Stopping Cthulhu is just a matter of having the right cards at the right time… http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/12/08/necronomicon-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/12/08/necronomicon-in-review/#comments Wed, 08 Dec 2010 16:59:57 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=44346 It seems my recent cry for more CCG games on the iDevice in the introduction to the review of Riese has not gone unnoticed. Lucidsphere Media recently released Necronomicon – an original single-player game with a mix of CCG and board game elements, inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft and the dreaded Cthulhu. Though … Read more]]>

It seems my recent cry for more CCG games on the iDevice in the introduction to the review of Riese has not gone unnoticed. Lucidsphere Media recently released Necronomicon – an original single-player game with a mix of CCG and board game elements, inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft and the dreaded Cthulhu. Though the meme of calling upon its name that has swept over the internet a few years ago has passed, the universe created by the famous author is still one of the most recognizable of any horror setting out there.

Necronomicon is an original blend of CCG and board game mechanics. A group of cultists have stolen the dreaded Necronomicon from the Miskatonic Universities library and yet again are trying to call upon Cthulhu. Through the open portal minions of the dark god have begun to leak into our world and it’s up to a unlikely bunch of investigators to defeat them, recover the stolen tomes and seal back the portal.

The gameplay of Necronomicon is split into 3 distinct phases. In phase 1 you get the actual CCG gameplay, with a 5 slots for the Chtulhu cards, 5 opposing slots for the investigator cards, a library and a graveyard. You draw cards one by one from the deck and place it according to the type. If it is an investigator or a monster you have to place it on one of the unoccupied slots for each team, and if it is a modifier, you have to apply it to one of the existing creatures in play or, sometimes, to an unoccupied slot. Most cards have to be used at once, though some may be stashed in the graveyard for the time being. If you have a monster and an investigator in the slots opposite one another – they fight and after all the bonuses are added up and the attack dice are rolled, the loser is removed from the playing field. In the end the goal is to have all investigator slots occupied and draw 2 more investigator cards to progress to the next phase.

Phase 2 is a rather simple board game. Each turn you roll the dice and may move your piece across the gaming board. If you reach an unexplored room you may reveal an ally or a piece of the lost necronomicon. If you end up on a free or already visited location, however, at the end of the turn you may randomly be either pushed back, placed in the asylum, library or just left alone. And the allies you find along the way alleviate some of the conditions. The goal in phase 2 is to gather all artifacts and allies and return to the library, where the final battle is triggered. This last part is quite straightforward and you are awarded life according to the combined parameters of all of your investigators in play and roll a 20-sided die in turn with Cthulhu to deal damage. Whichever reduces the enemy to 0 first wins.

Visually I can’t help to admire the amount of work gone into creating the cards. All of the artwork is excellent, stylish and recognizable and on par with the art for such full-blown CCGs as MTG, or WoW TcG. The musical score is also on par with eerie music adding to the atmosphere. The controls and interface are the only real issue. They are far from perfect, with all of the information on the cards being quite confusing and the way the battle parameters are added up still being a mystery to me. And the lack of any AI and complete control over where to place the monster cards end up making a serious blow to the gameplay interest, sometimes reminiscing of playing solitaire rather than a CCG game.

Necronomicon is one of the few CCG-type games on the App Store and it’s certainly a very promising one. The developers already promised to keep more content coming via updates and DLC packs to expand the game. And coupled with an original gameplay system, excellent artwork and atmospheric music this sets the game off to a nice start. Provided they manage to polish the interface to make it less confusing and add some AI, Necronomicon has everything in it to be the crown jewel of CCGs on the platform.

With this I declare Necronomicon officially touched!

App Summary
Title: Necronomicon Developer: Lucidsphere Media
Reviewed Ver: 1.1.1 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $1.99 App Size: 77.88MB
  • Original CCG and board game mechanics
  • Authentic atmosphere
  • Excellent artwork
  • Confusing interface
  • No Retina support
  • No AI involvement in the gameplay

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Riese in Review – Sometimes war is just another board game… http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/11/29/riese-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/11/29/riese-in-review/#comments Mon, 29 Nov 2010 22:04:53 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=43810 For reasons unknown one genre the iDevice is still almost devoid of are CCGs or Collectable Card Games. For the uninitiated, probably the most well known such game is Magic the Gathering. We’ve seen some titles based on the idea, like the very much underestimated Orions: Legend Of Wizards (TMA Review). It seems I’m not … Read more]]>

For reasons unknown one genre the iDevice is still almost devoid of are CCGs or Collectable Card Games. For the uninitiated, probably the most well known such game is Magic the Gathering. We’ve seen some titles based on the idea, like the very much underestimated Orions: Legend Of Wizards (TMA Review). It seems I’m not the only one who noticed this gap, as Genius Factor Games recently released Riese in an effort to both satisfy the market and promote the webseries, currently airing on Syfy.com.

It’s hard to define the genre of Riese specifically, but I would call it a tactical card turn-based strategy game. The world of Eleysia is in turmoil with its rightful princess dethroned. The dreaded Sect has put into power a puppet ruler that has declared it the official religion. The people have banded together to form the Resistance, their last hope of defending their homeland against the usurpers. And we’re thrown smack in the middle of it all.

Riese is actually a reasonably well thought-out cross between a CCG and a board game. It is split into a series of individual battles, the goal of which is to take over a specific region. The goal of each battle is to take over more than 75% of the battlefield. You do this by moving your units over the tiles, though it’s not necessary to keep them there afterwards. The units themselves are deployed on any neutral tile out of the cards you draw at the beginning of the game, with used cards immediately replenished. All actions, be it deploying a unit, moving it or attacking costs a certain amount of decision points, or DPs. You start with 3 and more are added at the beginning of each turn depending on the amount of units you have in play – up to a maximum of 5.

This rather simple gameplay aims for the easy to pick up but difficult to master goal. With only a few basic rules, but lots of cards to make up your deck (which incidentally can have up to 20 cards) you are destined to spend quiet a lot of time in the deck management interface. And with more cards unlocked as you progress farther through the game, as well as 3 separate factions with their own to choose from, it is bound to make any CCG fan’s day. Unfortunately the rather simple goal of taking over the territory instead of one more focused on eliminating your opponent takes a lot out of the excellent premise. Remember, you can place your units on any unoccupied neutral tile, meaning if you have a lot of 1 DP cards in the deck it’s quite easy to simply rush any battle.

Technically Riese is well thought-out. Utilizing a lot of visuals from the webseries it will be immediately recognizable to any fan. And anyone not yet familiar with it will still enjoy the excellent artwork on the cards. I did find the interface a bit clunky, especially with the card tray obscuring almost half of the battle screen. Another part I thought was a bit counter intuitive was the deck management interface, which is workable if you have an idea of what you want in the end, but it’s hell to manage if you want to experiment. Oh yeah, and do remember to save your progress since Riese lacks bots, Fast-App switching and auto-save support.

Riese is a must have for any fan of the webseries and/or the CCG genre. Superb story aside (though it must be good if they made a whole webseries out of it) it brings a well-thought cross between the card and board game genres to iDevice, set in steampunk goodness. Genre experts will spend hours building that perfect deck and newbies will find the default ones nicely suited for most battles. I’m not sure if they will address the issue with the basic mechanics, but the multiplayer update will surely make it an excellent addition to any iDevice.

With this I declare Riese officially touched!

App Summary
Title: Riese Developer: Genius Factor Games
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 4.0
Price: $3.99 App Size: 113.59MB
  • Great original concept
  • Lots of cards to choose from
  • Authentic artwork
  • No multitasking or auto-save
  • Some underlying issues with the basic mechanic
  • Somewhat clunky interface

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Learn a skill on your iDevice that could put you behind bars with Card Counter http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/11/12/tmsoft-releases-card-counter/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/11/12/tmsoft-releases-card-counter/#comments Fri, 12 Nov 2010 21:11:20 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=42631 TMSOFT, the makers of Blackjack Basic Strategy Card steps up their game by giving you the chance to learn a skill only the most daring (or shady) of individuals would be willing to perform. Card Counter is a “game” that has you counting cards to beat the dealer and casino out of their money. Features … Read more]]>

TMSOFT, the makers of Blackjack Basic Strategy Card steps up their game by giving you the chance to learn a skill only the most daring (or shady) of individuals would be willing to perform.

Card Counter is a “game” that has you counting cards to beat the dealer and casino out of their money. Features include a redesign of graphics and game play, support for iPad, iPhone and Retina Display. A new challenge mode has been created with unlimited rounds to see just how much money you can make. Submit scores via Facebook, Twitter or E-mail. Game Center leaderboards with iOS 4 .x devices are integrated into the game (so Las Vegas Casinos know who to keep an eye out for on your next trip) and Achievements are expected soon.

Keep your eyes glued to TMA for possible news reports of individuals getting their body parts placed in vices — “Casino” style — for attempting to take their new found skills into the real world. Card Counter (universal app) is now available on the App Store and can be yours for $1.99.

Card Counter TMSOFT, Card Counter, 12.4 MB - $1.99

App Description

You play BlackJack. You love BlackJack. You’ve memorized basic strategy and know what to do in every hand. But now you want more. Maybe you saw the movie “21″, read the book “Bringing Down the House”, or just heard about card counting. Card Counter will teach you everything you need to know without having to enroll at MIT.

FEATURES
* Universal iPhone and iPad app. Buy once play anywhere.
* Beautiful graphics with Retina display support!
* Study guide for learning the system of counting
* Card tutorial to demonstrate card counting
* Practice modes for fine tuning your skills
* Progress through easy, medium, hard, and expert game levels
* Earn lots of cash with challenge mode and unlimited levels.
* High scores for tracking your progress with world wide ranking.
* Game center leaderboards for iOS 4.1 capable devices.
* Blackjack basic strategy reference card included
* Learn all the popular card systems including Hi-Lo, Hi-Opt I, Hi-Opt II, KO, Omega II, Silver Fox, and Zen Count.
* Add new counting systems with the custom strategy builder. Let’s you specify the card count values and starting count.
* Voice over by Oscar Santana from Big O & Dukes and Mike O’Meara show

Learn everything you need to know on a plane to Las Vegas, a car ride to Atlantic City, or in the comforts of your own home.

Study. Practice. Win.

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Card Counter is a video game based on the techniques of card counting. Using an iPhone or any device while at Blackjack tables is illegal. Never play Card Counter or use any electronic device while playing at casino tables.

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Sword & Poker 2 in Review – A sequel sticking to a winning formula http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/06/14/sword-poker-2-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/06/14/sword-poker-2-in-review/#comments Mon, 14 Jun 2010 16:33:27 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=34526 Sword & Poker 2 is a fun and engaging sequel that stays true to its roots. Quite simply, grab it if you liked the first (our review). …The above should really be all there is to this review. Sword & Poker 2 is indeed worth your time and money…but only barely. Why? You see, S&P2 … Read more]]>

Sword & Poker 2 is a fun and engaging sequel that stays true to its roots. Quite simply, grab it if you liked the first (our review).

…The above should really be all there is to this review. Sword & Poker 2 is indeed worth your time and money…but only barely.

Why?

You see, S&P2 is the latest in a long and distinguished line of sequels that refuse to innovate. Little else can be said of a game where the most exciting new feature is the ability to play songs from your library. While a lack of innovation is not in itself enough to condemn a game, it certainly doesn’t make a compelling argument for purchase. Sometimes, the formula works well enough on its own to justify sequels (think Super Mario Bros., Pokemon, Mega Man, most shmups, every fighting game ever made, etc.)…at other times, there’s little to no point in acquisition (Tetris DX, anyone?).

So does S&P2 make the cut? Barely. It was NOT the game engine that made Sword & Poker popular (and even if it was, you can technically play the first game and multiplayer infinitely). It was the STUFF. The gameplay was merely the vehicle by which you reached the cool stuff. This is why Mega Man has a zillion sequels – the “STUFF,” in that case, is the bosses and weapons. In Pokemon, the “stuff” is the Pokemon and their abilities, not the game engine (which remains unchanged throughout how many best-selling sequels?). In fighting games, it’s the selectable characters, with special attacks perhaps factoring in.

As an enormous fan of the original Sword & Poker, the sheer lack of “stuff” in this game was quite disappointing. The original was fun precisely because of the unique take on the genre, combined with a gradual layering of diverse elements with a pacing that never became either too overwhelming or too stingy.

Sword & Poker 2, meanwhile, is only barely more than a straight-up clone. There is no point in rating the music, controls, or graphics, seeing as they almost perfectly mirror the original. There are “rare” creatures which force you to incorporate a “rush down” play style, but they are few and far between. The addition of two additional debuffs – poison and an “amnesia” move that disables your opponent’s debuffs – has little effect, seeing as the poison is useless until the end of the round (making it an inferior choice to either the thievery, life-stealing or paralyzing options) and negating your opponents special attacks is only worthwhile if you are taking special attacks constantly…or, in other words, getting stomped. A clutch paralyze could turn that around…denying them from gaining 12 health doesn’t.

It seems that they shut off the creative tap for this game, adding new portraits and two new abilities, but nothing truly unique or surprising.

That said, no one can argue that it’s not a winning formula. Gaia studios certainly won’t be making the mistake of new coke. For better or worse, the S&P2 motto is “if it aint broke, don’t fix it.”

Verdict: Flaws aside, Sword & Poker 2′s still a great game. Grab it. Just don’t expect a long honeymoon.

grab

App Summary
Title: Sword & Poker 2(WW) Developer: GAIA CO.,LTD.
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
3.0
Price: $3.99 App Size: 37.5 MB
  • Very similar to the first game
  • Can now play music from iPod library
  • New abilities
  • New enemies and weapons
  • VERY similar to the first game (yes, it’s a con, too!)
  • Too few new abilities to justify sequel
  • Recolors of a recolor the first game recolored.

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More Card games coverage right here at TMA:

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Sword & Poker in Review – Straight to your Heart! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/04/07/sword-and-poker-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/04/07/sword-and-poker-in-review/#comments Wed, 07 Apr 2010 21:59:40 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=30747 Peanut Butter and Jelly, Abbot and Costello, Oprah and cupcakes; Some things just GO TOGETHER. Such is the case with Sword & Poker, an epic jumble of two unlikely bedfellows: The hardcore RPG, which relies completely on player skill and gear, and the lighthearted poker (but-not-really-poker) mechanics of luck and pattern recognition. Feel free to … Read more]]>

Peanut Butter and Jelly, Abbot and Costello, Oprah and cupcakes; Some things just GO TOGETHER.

Such is the case with Sword & Poker, an epic jumble of two unlikely bedfellows: The hardcore RPG, which relies completely on player skill and gear, and the lighthearted poker (but-not-really-poker) mechanics of luck and pattern recognition. Feel free to discuss this review of Sword & Poker in our forums.

In the interest of full disclosure, Sword & Poker is perhaps my favorite game currently on the App Store. I have likely put more time into it than I have into all my other apps combined, including email / social networking / instant messaging, etc. While I will attempt to be as objective as possible, do not expect me to completely overlook its flaws and laud its achievements.

Let’s begin:

Sword & Poker is the Japanese, best-selling title released in – oh, who cares? It’s got accolades out the whazoo.

Here’s why:

MUSIC:

The music for Sword & Poker gets the job done beautifully, paying homage to RPG classics such as Ocarina of Time and the Final Fantasy series which isn’t surprising considering the game’s Japanese origins. The same can be said of the fight music itself, which also borrows heavily from FF random battle symphonics. Yes, I said “symphonics”. From the crisp flicking of your cards, to the “thud” your enemies make as you encounter them, to the clinking of your coins (your “health” is measured by how many coins you have) as they are discarded, battle effects merge seamlessly into a fantastic experience.

CONTROLS:

What is there to say about the controls? They are perfect. Touch-and-drag for the cards, touch for menu options, etc. Everything registers promptly and properly. It could be played with two hands or with a single finger. There is no timer, so how fast you wish to make inputs is up to you.

MECHANICS:

One word: Brilliant. Imagine playing poker against a D&D “Game Master” who decides to change the order of the cards halfway in. There’s a skill for that. There’s a thief-style ability to steal cards directly from an enemy’s hand. You can paralyse your opponent, drain their life, silence them from casting spells, and pierce through their shields for the killing blow. The combinations of special weapon abilities and skills is truly mind-boggling, and the RPG min/maxers who wish to take on the DEEP dungeon (yes, there are levels and bosses even after you “beat” the game) will have to master combos.

You start the level with a certain number of “recharge” coins that can be used (between fights) to fully heal you, but they are limited – and they provide a considerable bonus to your loot if you can complete the level without their use. This loot is then exchanged for classic RPG fare: better weapons with better stats, better shields, and a larger coin purse (read: health pool). The weapon selection and shield selection are unique and varied enough to pass muster – you will sometimes prefer a lower-level weapon to its superiors due to a different status effect it inflicts. Sword & Poker slowly introduces special abilities/combo moves as you beat each level. Every level consists of multiple paths through opponents leading either to the end of the level, or a boss fight.

The replay value from the previously mentioned “extra levels” is excellent and there is a pass-n-play multiplayer mode that allows you to take on your friends. Unfortunately, you cannot use pre-loaded profiles for combat, but if you were given the option to use your maxed-out character against some hapless noob, I doubt you’d have many repeat challengers.

GRAPHICS:

S&P is not a graphical powerhouse, but then, it shouldn’t be. The visuals are crisp and detailed. The only possible gripe I have is that some of the monsters are re-skins of lower-level creatures. However, as the focus is on the cards themselves, skins matter very little. Indeed, re-skinned enemies are the only aspect of the game lacking the quality that oozes from everything else.

Verdict:

Sword & Poker is great for the casual poker player or the RPG fan. For the person who enjoys RPGs *AND* cards? Sword & Poker is your soul mate. Best of all – there’s a lite version! If it tickles your fancy, take the leap. A paltry $3.99 doesn’t come close to paying for all the hours of fun this game promises.

App Summary
Title: Sword & Poker Developer: GAIA CO.,LTD.
Reviewed Ver: 1.1 Min OS Req: 2.2.1
Price: $3.99 App Size: 30.9 MB
  • Great for both new and old-school gamers
  • Nostalgic audio is spot-on
  • Replay-value is astronomical
  • Pass-and-play multiplayer is a riot
  • Some monsters are re-skins.
  • No character customisation in multiplayer mode
  • No online multiplayer mode

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Step right up…step right up! We’ve got more card games coverage here:

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World Series Of Poker Hold ‘Em Legend in Review – Poker? I Barely Know Her! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/01/08/world-series-of-poker-hold-em-legend-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/01/08/world-series-of-poker-hold-em-legend-in-review/#comments Fri, 08 Jan 2010 07:17:50 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=25111 It seems that poker game apps run the same path as twitter and fart apps; more and more appear everyday. As is the case with most apps though, the majority are either just okay, or plain garbage. Lucky for me, I recently got my hands on a great release from Powerhouse developer Glu Mobile and their … Read more]]>

It seems that poker game apps run the same path as twitter and fart apps; more and more appear everyday. As is the case with most apps though, the majority are either just okay, or plain garbage. Lucky for me, I recently got my hands on a great release from Powerhouse developer Glu Mobile and their sure winner, World Series Of Poker Hold ‘Em Legend.  This is a great app for seasoned vets and newcomers alike, read on to to see how the chips stacked up.

What sets the greats apart from the loads of poker App Store are the details: the extra effort that went into making the game.You’ll see exactly what I mean.

From the splash screen to the main menus, eye candy is everywhere. Bright colours, clean and crisp patterns and designs are everywhere. Compared to other apps I’ve played, WSOP is classy. When touring through the menus and various screens everything is clean, extremely easy to see/read, and vibrant. In game, the tables and cards all look great. They even fancied up the placeholder for your username and chip count.

Another thing that I love is location. Since the World Series Of Poker belongs to Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment, they use real casino locations in the game. They even show little video clips before you enter into a tournament at a new casino. A great little bit of promo work that adds a nice sense of authenticity to the game.


If you aren’t as seasoned a player as some, there is a great detailed help menu available. It is full of info on how to play, tips and info about the different types of gameplay I encourage even veterans of the game to check it out. Every game is a little bit different and knowing those differences can’t hurt.

As far as gameplay modes, they really have everyone covered here. The main modes that I liked and used the most are Cash game and Legend Career. The cash game is exactly that. You take money from your bankroll and enter into cash tournaments. In Legend Career you play in tournaments escalating in both buy-in price and prize amounts. Building up your bankroll, you earn achievements and unlock high stakes events on your journey to winning a coveted bracelet.

When you’re done playing with yourself (get your mind out of the gutter). They also have multiplayer modes. The basic multiplayer is a one button jump into an online 9 player matchup. Every time I used it, I waited seconds before being able to find players and get the game underway. Definitely a surprising treat that gives them a leg up on some of the competition. The other option they have available is a heads up bluetooth match. Do you have a friend that swears up and down that he’s better than you? well you can boot up and start a heads up match with each other using your bluetooth connection and finally put that argument to rest.

One really neat feature that they added to the game was a bit of a cheat. Picture this. Your in a tournament, it’s down to the final 2 and you just went all in thinking you had the win locked. Then out of nowhere you’ve lost! Game over? Not anymore. Glu added a really great feature where using in-app purchasing, you can cheat and get back into the game for $0.99. Not a feature everyone will use but a really handy thing to have just in case.


There are a lot more extras in this game in the way of features and whatnot. I wont go into all of them here but I will point out a couple that I thought were great. First is the stats. Here you can see how much money you have, how many matches you’ve played and some results. A great feature for someone who likes to track their play. Another is the achievements. Although not a necessary feature of the game, it gives you a sense of accomplishment occasionally during regular game play that adds an extra bit of fun to it. Not to mention that design wise the badges look awesome.

In the end, World Series Of Poker Hold ‘Em Legends is a great title. With some of the best design work I’ve seen in awhile and enough tournaments to keep even the most addicted player busy for quite awhile. Add in all the real world details that they’ve worked into the game and I think fans and new comers a like will find a lot of value in this game.

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App Summary
Title: World Series of Poker Hold’em Legend Developer: Glu
Reviewed Ver: 1.2.0 Min OS Req: 2.2
Price: $2.99 App Size: 96.1 MB
  • Single & local/online multiplayer
  • Excellent design
  • Online play & leader boards
  • New “cheat” feature
  • None to mention

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Hands on Preview: Moonga http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/10/30/hands-on-preview-moonga/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/10/30/hands-on-preview-moonga/#comments Fri, 30 Oct 2009 21:35:45 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=22393 I was given the opportunity to take a look at the beta version of Moonga, a Customizable Card Game coming soon to the App Store. I do feel like one of the few people who’s never really gotten into the whole CCG scene, but this one looked like a nice simple CCG to ease myself … Read more]]>

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I was given the opportunity to take a look at the beta version of Moonga, a Customizable Card Game coming soon to the App Store. I do feel like one of the few people who’s never really gotten into the whole CCG scene, but this one looked like a nice simple CCG to ease myself into. I liked the fantasy style art, so I was immediately drawn in to this easy to play game.

I’m going to do a quick run down of a typical card before I move on to describing how the game is played. A card will show you a picture of the character or creature it represents, along with a brief description of what it will do. There are three numbers to the left side of the card. The top one, over a sword, is your attack strength. The middle shield number is your defensive strength. And the bottom number is the damage you will actually cause to your enemy.

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When actually playing a game, you will play 5 cards against either a computer or live opponent. You get to decide which card you are going to play in what order, not always knowing what card your opponent is going to be playing next. Once you choose a card, you’re brought to a set up screen, where you can decide to add extra points to your card for additional attack strength and defense. You have a total of 10 points for the entire game, and can choose to add them a few at a time to each card played, or all at once to just one card. You also have an extra defensive card that can only be played once, simultaneously with one of your other cards.

Then the round begins, and your attack strength is compared to your opponent card’s defense strength. If your attack is greater than his defense, then you do damage for the amount shown on your card to his overall HPs (20 total for each of you). You will then be shown the same attack from your opponent against you, and you’ll move on to the next round. The one with the most HPs (shown as a heart) at the end of the game wins.

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In the beta, you’re limited to just the starter deck of 6 cards – there’s no upgrading or customization yet. There seem to be a number of future plans for this game, including online player vs player and tracking of high scores. There are also lots of additional cards – though I’m not sure if these will be a part of the standard game, or purchased as add-ons. It’s not clear as of now if there’s a narrative holding this game together, in beta form it’s mostly just a clean interface to allow you to play the game itself.

But I found it to be an enjoyable experience. It was easy to learn to play – I’m a complete newcomer and quickly figured out what was expected of me. At the same time, the difficulty seems average – I won as many rounds as I lost; like any card game, it was kind of the luck of the draw. As I said at the beginning, the fantasy trappings of the game are a real draw, and I think it could be just the kind of game some folks are looking for once it comes out. I don’t think it’s as deep as some CCG out there, but Moonga seems like the perfect size for this type of on-the-go gaming.

Into card games? Check out our review of Orions: Legends of Wizards

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Strongholds in Review – Build your house of cards and crush the enemy! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/10/28/strongholds-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/10/28/strongholds-in-review/#comments Wed, 28 Oct 2009 11:48:48 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=22222 I was an avid Magic the Gathering fan and gamer for a couple of years in my university days, and it surprises me why there next to no games that use CCG (Collectable Card Game) mechanics on the iPhone. The genre is perfect for the platform, combining turn-based gameplay, multiplayer, low system requirements and excellent … Read more]]>

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I was an avid Magic the Gathering fan and gamer for a couple of years in my university days, and it surprises me why there next to no games that use CCG (Collectable Card Game) mechanics on the iPhone. The genre is perfect for the platform, combining turn-based gameplay, multiplayer, low system requirements and excellent use of in-app purchasing. Well, Digital Worlds has stepped in and laid a claim to the genre!

Strongholds is a turn-based strategy game, but rather than building armies and vast empires, your weapons are cards. The goal of the game is simple – to win, but in order to do so – you can either build up your stronghold to a certain level, or crush the stronghold of the opposition.

You have 6 cards at your disposal. Each turn you can play one of the cards (although some cards allow you play another directly after) to perform an action. This can range from building up your stronghold, defences, and resource base. You can also attack the enemy base, perform diversions, and even steal resources! Each time you use a card, a random new one will be drawn in its place.

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The cards themselves require resources to be played, which include Weapons, Mercs and Composites. Resources are generated at the beginning of each turn by the relevant facilities (Armory, Army Camp and Factory respectively) and are colour-coded and easy to distinguish. The number is defined by the level of the facility which can be changed by cards with the relevant effects.

The cards offer a variety of tactics for you to consider. You can focus on building up your resource base, crippling the enemy’s facilities, destroying him quickly, trying to reach the maximum level of the stronghold for an instant win, or any combination of the above. At the same time, the thing that would really radically boost the game’s potential would be the ability to customize your own deck for the battles. Unfortunately, this is yet to come.

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The graphics are wonderfully done with minute attention to detail. You can easily estimate the level of and damage to the stronghold with just a glance, and the attack animations are amazing. The thing I missed though, was the change of the appearance of the facilities relative to their level. Currently the only thing you can tell by looking is whether they are destroyed completely or not. The interface is very stylized and easy to use. All of the icons, representing various resources, effects, etc., are intuitive, though I would advise first-time players to check the help section. For the more hard-core players you can customise start, as well as victory conditions of the game, though I did miss the opportunity to set the enemy’s starting resources higher than mine for the really hardcore mode. And one annoying thing – the game has quite a long and non-skippable splash screen.

After you finish the battle, your score is counted up and you can submit it to online an leaderboard. Also, the game features multiplayer, unfortunately only via Bluetooth so I was unable to test it. But it is a great thing nonetheless. Strongholds promises to save state at the end of each round, allowing you to resume if you were interrupted by a phone call or simply have other things on your mind at the moment. Unfortunately, it failed to live up to the promise, crashing each time I tapped “Resume”.

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Strongholds does not bring the whole variety of CCG features to the genre, but it is a great start. The game has much potential and I hope the developers continue expanding it. The gameplay is excellent and a good workout for that grey matter most people call the “brain”. The ability to vary the tactics based on the situation and your personal preferences gives additional depth to the gameplay. At the same time, apart from the major additions I noted above, the developers could work on adding more cards to the game as well as remote multiplayer. But even at the current level of about 100 cards, the game has enough to keep both strategy and CCG fans content. And there is a FREE version for you to check out and decide if you want to get the game.

With this I declare Strongholds officially touched.

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App Summary
Title: Strongholds (v.1.7.1) Developer: Digital Worlds
Price: $1.99 App Size: 8.3 MB
  • An excellent blend of TBS and CCG mechanics
  • Very stylish and detailed graphics
  • Excellent replayability
  • Multiplayer over Bluetooth
  • Stability issues
  • No deck customization
  • No remote (internet) multiplayer
  • Non-skippable splash screen

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World Poker Tour Texas Hold ‘Em in Review – Portable Poker For Persistent Players! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/10/13/world-poker-tour-texas-hold-em-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/10/13/world-poker-tour-texas-hold-em-in-review/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 22:36:58 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=21415 Poker has been growing in popularity again over the last couple years. With multiple shows, console games, and all sorts of swag and merch available, it’s not surprising to see a large selection of poker games at the app store. Recently, I was dealt the World Poker Tour’s (WPT) official app and this review will … Read more]]>

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Poker has been growing in popularity again over the last couple years. With multiple shows, console games, and all sorts of swag and merch available, it’s not surprising to see a large selection of poker games at the app store. Recently, I was dealt the World Poker Tour’s (WPT) official app and this review will show you how it played out!

Any fan of poker will be familiar with the World Poker Tour. Whether it be from tv, a game or the internet, the WPT probably has you hook, line, and sinker. The WPT tournaments are a staple in the scene and I was pleased when I found out that they were releasing a game on the iPlatform.

Every time you launch WPT, a nice video plays, showing an official video. The problem is that it plays every single time and can get a little annoying. Afterwards though, you are greeted by a really nice UI. Graphics and colors are vibrant and the menus and info screens look great.

world-poker-tour-review2A nice feature you can see right up front is the ability to import music from your ipod. Unfortunately though, I was not able to find a way to turn it off once I started it while in a game. Another fun feature is the ability to customize your avatar. You get one to start with but you can use your winnings to purchase one of the many different custom outfits available.

As for game play, there are both local and online multiplayer available. Online you can either play simple multiplayer based on a few parameters or enter into tournaments. I was glad to find both, and was even more happy to see that they kept everything separate: your online wins and losses don’t affect your offline totals and vice versa. The obvious benefit here is that you could practice as much as you want offline without risking your online earnings.

world-poker-tour-review6Controls in WPT are simple: a lot of tapping or swiping to bet/raise/fold. Visually, it’s a little less fancy than the menus and other pages but it still looks nice. They even added in a bit of animation to the characters at the table when they toss bets out. Also available in game is the ability to view/add to your buddy list and chat with the people at the table.

Playing the hands is enjoyable. There is some unnecessary stuff though, such as pauses for bets even though you’ve already gone all in and don’t really have an option but to pass. Also, at the end of a hand during the “Showdown”, the highest available hand from each player is flashed above their cards verrrry quickly. So quickly in fact, that if you aren’t paying attention you’ll definitely miss it. Afterwards, the hands are all shown with the winner clearly marked and the resulting winnings/loses shown to the side.

world-poker-tour-review3In the end, even with the oddities mentioned above, or my inability to find a pause button for the music player, I still enjoyed this game. It may not be as flashy as some competitors, but it is built solidly and sensibly. All the proper effort went into building a real stand up game that I think fans of hold ‘em poker will be able to appreciate.

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App Summary
Title: World Poker Tour Texas Hold ‘Em (v1.45) Developer: Hands-On Mobile
Price: $3.99 App Size: 4.5 MB
  • Local and online play
  • Nice graphics
  • Lots of game options available
  • Custom profiles
  • A few odd bugs
  • Couldn’t find off button for music

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Texas Wuggle in Review – Poker’s lighter side http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/10/13/texas-wuggle-in-review-pokers-lighter-side/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/10/13/texas-wuggle-in-review-pokers-lighter-side/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 18:54:22 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=21452 iDevice poker apps are a great idea; while you can lose whuffie against your iDevice, or around the world on leaderboards, you don’t have to worry about losing your dosh. Texas Wuggle is an interesting combination of poker and wuggling, and if you couldn’t tell already, is a die-hard casual gambler. This time however, you … Read more]]>

iDevice poker apps are a great idea; while you can lose whuffie against your iDevice, or around the world on leaderboards, you don’t have to worry about losing your dosh. Texas Wuggle is an interesting combination of poker and wuggling, and if you couldn’t tell already, is a die-hard casual gambler. This time however, you will arrange cards in order to either become a millionaire, or sit atop the poker circuit in a time-trial stint. Is it fun? Yes it is…

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There is no need to bring up my dirty poker-playing past: a seedy time which was steeped in dark goings on, iffy companions; and all-nighters full of sweat, smoke, and spades. Suffice to say, I was hooked. Texas Wuggle brings back a bit of the old gambler in me, in a good way.

Behind its sparkly, brilliant exterior, Texas Wuggle is a good, yet adulterated poker game, but the first thing which may catch your eye is the sparkly stuff. From the ante, this game is packed with special effects and bright, showy objects. Even the simple act of dragging cards around is an indulgent showdown of colour as cards sprout colour-tails. When you win, it gets even flashier; think New Year’s day – in Toronto.

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But, this colourful interface is vital in keeping up appearances: Texas Wuggle is a puzzle game with concentrated poker elements. The poker fan will enjoy the cards, while the puzzler will enjoy the dextrous challenges. To create a hand, you must make sense of the jumble of cards which is thrown in front of you after every deal. It isn’t a neat deposit either, so get ready to screw your eyes up searching for that last spade. In order to make a hand, you have to string 5 cards together into a poker hand. Then, swipe that collection from left to right, or in the opposite direction to finalise it.

Mechanics aside, there are two different game modes: spree and survival. Spree gives you a chance to start from the bottom, and in ten hands, manage to strike a cool million. Survival is the arcade version of poker: you have to race against the clock to create poker hands, and as levels progress, your earnings will go up while the clock does the opposite.

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So, what do you get to help you along? You get bombs. Yup, bombs. While not traditional, bombs are a unique carryover from 4J Studio’s first iPhone game, Wuggle; they essentially function like ‘hits’. To exchange a card, simply double tap it, then tap a bomb. You have up to three bombs which will replenish at a rate of one per round. In addition to its flashy graphics, the puzzle, fast-action aspects of Texas Wuggle are catchy, fun, and addictive.

The collation of cards, however, is frustrating. Just like any poker game, Texas Wuggle spits cards out randomly, and just like any poker game, you will spot what you spot, take chances on those cards you believe in; and otherwise, go with the flow. Moving cards around is fun – please don’t get me wrong. But, the cards move like energetic blocks and will rebound from each other; this in particular is difficult when you are playing the time-limited Survival mode. To signal a hand, you swipe horizontally along a group of cards. Thus, they have to be in the same plot on the screen. Unfortunately, because of the bouncing, swirling, hardly-controllable, physics-bound cards, gaming is hard. Sometimes, you will run out of time just trying to get your cards to some safe, swipe-able place.

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I could mention that there is no iTunes support and no leaderboard, but that wouldn’t make too much sense. This app is 99 cents, shy of a dollar – cheap stuff; but it allows you to indulge in the otherwise seedy passion: gambling. Well, a very casual, catchy version of gambling. If I had to use a simple, but proper sentence, I might say something like: Texas Wuggle is a fun game. But I’d rather say something memorable, like: “its unique combination of puzzle and poker is a straight flush as far as I am concerned”. You can play for a few minutes and enjoy the game’s style while not worrying about ruining yours. Texas Wuggle ain’t a tried and true poker simulator, but it will keep your hands warm this coming winter.

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App Summary
Title: Texas Wuggle (v. 1.0) Developer: 4J Studios Ltd.
Price: $0.99 App Size: 37.1 MB
  • flashy interface
  • spree and survival are both great fun
  • great price
  • unique blend of gambling and puzzle
  • gets frantic
  • card physics is not needed
  • how ’bout some itunes music?

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