By: Michelle Lisse
March 23, 2004
Eric Snider's Video Poker is a simple video poker game. The game offers two variants, a basic preferences menu, and simple graphics.
If you’ve played video poker before, you will quickly realize that this is just like most other iterations. To begin you bet anywhere from one to five quarters, and are dealt a set of five cards. Then, determine which cards will be kept on the draw, and which ones will be replaced. One very nice aspect of holding cards in Eric’s Video Poker is that you are not forced to peck at tiny hold buttons, but rather you may tap the hold button or the card. This is particularly useful when playing in a location where your palm is being jostled.
There are two types of game play, deuces wild and jacks or better. In deuces wild, the two may be used to make a hand, however the minimum paying hand is three of a kind. Additionally, if you achieve a royal flush with deuces the payout is significantly less than a natural version. In jacks or better, the minimum winning hand is a pair of jacks, and the other winning hands are worth slightly more than in deuces wild. For example, in deuces wild three of a kind will make you break even, but in jacks or better you would receive a slight profit. Overall, the game play is fairly standard, and nothing in particular stands out.
As always, having a good set of preferences can make an ordinary game great. Well, unfortunately, the preferences do not do much for this game. The choices are all fairly elementary. First, you can turn on or off the sound slightly obnoxious sound effects. You may also select whether the palm will automatically hold winning cards, this is essentially the only difficulty setting in the game. The other options are animation, the mode to display your winnings in, and an informational message bar. The message bar will display statistics about the game, by scrolling automatically or advancing when you tap on it.
Now, there is one more option I did not include in “choices”, but happens to be my favorite option: color schemes. The default color schemes include four solid color schemes and four with shading. If none of these choices suit your preferred color scheme, there is also the option to pick a custom color. This is a nice option, although some of the colors look a little awkward.
The elements of the screen are also important graphically. Unlike most card games I’ve installed on my palm, in Eric’s Video Poker the cards are large and easy to read, and the playing field isn’t painfully cluttered. The use of animated quarters is a nice detail touch, although on large wins they look too compressed. Another notable element is the buttons… unfortunately few of the buttons match each other. Betting and dealing buttons are all determined by the color scheme, the hold buttons are all yellow, and the buttons along top are black and white. Although it is nice to break up the monotony of the screen, yellow buttons just don’t work with most color schemes.
Bits and Pieces
In addition to the primary components of the game, there are a few other items to be noted about Eric’s Video Poker. The first one if the nice use of stats – rather than being shoved blatantly in your face after each hand, the statistics appear on the message bar, through the menu system, and by tapping on your credits. It is also nice that you’re able to limitlessly add money to the machine, and if you happen to want the money back you may cash out as well. The toolbar on the top of the screen contains two buttons. The one conveniently informs you of the payout table and rules makes sense. However the one to the left of it, labeled “New”, doesn’t give you a new game, but rather it changes the type of game you’re playing. I would have expected the button to reset the statistic pertaining to how much money you have, not the type of game.
Eric Snider's Video Poker is a fun little game when you’re bored, but that is about it. Although decent, the program does not offer a distinguishing characteristic to set it apart from other video poker games. So, while it is a fun waste of time, there is nothing additional about the game that makes it a good long-term purchase. The application sells for $12.95 USD.
RATING: 6.5 / 10
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