Swords & Poker Adventure
Take this adventure elsewhere.
The Sword & Poker series is a long-running franchise from Konami that combines role-playing elements with classic poker rules. They were exemplary titles that still today remain fantastic products that expertly combine strategy, RPG, and all the fun of a card game to create something new. Unfortunately, Gaia, the original developer of Sword & Poker, went under a few years ago, prompting Konami to purchase the rights. And the end result is a disappointing amalgam of in-app purchases as well as time limits that you're subjected to, and for free-to-play titles that want to leave a long-lasting impression, that's always a no-no.
The core gameplay of Swords & Poker Adventures is simple yet satisfying. You start with a 3 x 3 grid of cards and pick up four more as the game begins. There's no story to busy yourself with, so all you need to do is work on making the pairs you need. In the center there are starting cards with the ones players will use to make their winning hands.
Pairs will cause damage to enemies, but better plays will take additional hit points down. Strategic card placement is where the fun lies, and you'll soon find yourself settling into a comfortable pattern, eliminating enemy after enemy.
The poker game at the core of the RPG-lite battle is the brightest spot in this iteration of the game, however, and that is quite unfortunate.
Swords & Poker Adventures is riddled with a restrictive energy system that doesn't make any attempts to hide its free-to-play roots, forcing you to purchase infinite energy for $4.99 or incremenets in order for you to continue playing. There's no real reason to do this other than greed, but it will impede progress significantly. For this reason, you may as well stick to the earlier games in the series if you can grab them, because at the very least you'll be paying for a whole product that doesn't force you into a piecemeal agreement.
Additionally, there isn't much of an "oomph" to keep you playing beyond the thrill of card matching. The powerups and items are few and far between, and really only enjoyable if you're spending a lot of unnecessary dough on the game.
Swords & Poker Adventures shamefully attempts to capitalize on the players who go into it hoping to recreate the success or the great game that appeared earlier in the franchise's life cycle. Opt for something a little meatier so you don't end up wasting your time.