NBC Sports National Heads-Up Poker
National Heads-Up poker is a decent idea, hampered by a lack of single player progression, and multiplayer functions.
NBC Sports National Heads-Up Poker attempts to differentiate itself from the massive deluge of mobile poker titles by focusing specifically on heads-up play, but there is a fatal flaw with this design strategy. Games like Glu's World Series of Poker, and indeed, nearly every other poker game let you set up a heads-up game should you want one, but also give you all the robust game options National Heads-Up Poker is lacking.
The game isn't actually entirely heads-up focused - there is a traditional eight-player Hold 'Em table to join, but it doesn't really do much to redeem the extreme lightness of the package.
Gamers can play in a one-off heads-up match, a full heads-up tourney, or the aforementioned eight-player Hold 'Em table. That's basically it. There are no options to play pot-limit, only no limit. No option to set the blinds or the buy-in at any dollar amount other than $20,000 either, but this really doesn't matter, since there is no persistent bankroll. Win or lose, you're just booted back out to the main menu. There is no multiplayer (online or off) to boot.
The poker action itself is fairly decent. You can set the game speed, and on the fastest setting it zips right along through the hands. I also appreciate the fact that when I fold a hand I don't have to watch the AI-controlled players duke it out - I'm immediately shown the hand's outcome.
Ultimately though, the big problem is that Heads-Up Poker doesn't do the heads-up game any better than any of the other poker games, but it's lacking all their modes and options. It might have been possible to truly focus on the heads-up game and differentiate the product. Maybe implement unique features like a "momentum meter" that increases your opponents odds of pressing or folding, depending on whether you're intimidating them with frequent re-raises or not. Since we see our opponent up-close the whole match, build in some tells. Allow your player to talk smack. Do something to make the heads-up experience actually unique.
National Heads-Up Poker got the fundamentals down, but the overall package is still a couple years behind the rest of the mobile poker scene. A real bankroll, some actual tournament progression, and some form of multiplayer are no longer icing - they're all necessary. And Heads-Up is lacking all of them.
What's Hot: The poker action itself is decent enough
What's Not: The heads-up focus is a major limiting factor