This is a haven for poker lovers. That's the bottom line. Hoyle Poker has to be one of the most fun computer games I have played in a long time. Ever since I have seen the movie Rounders. Where this game lacks in graphics, it more than is made up for in depth, humor, and the most important part, enjoyment. This is the type of game that you want to keep playing, again and again.
The game starts with a player choosing a type of poker, and the stakes for which they want to play. The player is greeted with seven opponents, all of which have a different persona. There's a cowboy guy, a bartender guy, a James Dean guy, and it goes on. There are a number of different characters, and they are randomly picked for each different table. The enjoyment comes during the actual game though. In addition to the poker, the opponents all say different things, depending on the situation. It goes from the bartender insulting you and saying that he's never had a better hand before to the cowboy saying that he's never had a worse hand. It's rather humorous, and adds to the enjoyability of the game.
The only problem that I have with this game is it's documentation, or lack thereof. It's somewhat difficult to find info on the games, unless you go to the index help menu. There you can find some rules on each game. So, although it's somewhat difficult to learn, with some searching it's possible. With some practice you'll be a championship poker player in no time.
Graphics: Basic graphics, but it's a card game, so who cares?
Sound: Sound effects really add to the fun.
Enjoyment: Lots of fun, without really losing all your money.
Replay Value: You can keep coming back, without it getting old.
Although Sierra tried its hand (no pun intended) at other card games, this is their first foray into the world of poker. The game offers all the excitement of a real poker game mixed with Sierra's unique brand of humour.
The game offers a total of 20 variations on popular poker games including: Texas Hold 'Em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, High Chicago, Cincinnati, Baseball, 5 Card Stud, 7 Card Stud, 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo, Jacks or Better, Criss Cross, Dealers Choice, 5 Card Draw and 5 Card Draw Lo-ball.
In single-player offline mode, you can select up to 7 opponents to play against, each with their own personality, playing style and skill level. The animated AI characters are well done and if you study them carefully, you can figure out each player's tell, which gives away the fact that they have a good hand. The Attitude Meter adjusts the speed of the game; setting it higher results in more animation and comments from the AI players, whereas setting it lower, keeps them quiet and offers a faster pace game. You start with a bankroll of $1,000 in case with another $9,000 in your bank account which you can access via an ATM (it also has a personality of it's own).
Once you've mastered the game (or become tired of the AI players), check out the on-line play mode and see how your skills match up with real players from around the world.
People who downloaded Hoyle Poker have also downloaded:
Hoyle Classic Games, Hoyle Solitaire, Hoyle Bridge, Hoyle Classic Card Games, Hoyle Childrens Collection, Hoyle Board Games 2001, Hoyle Casino Empire, Bicycle Poker
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