Poker Smash

At last, someone combines poker with puzzles! Hurray?

Putting poker rules in a puzzle game makes about as much sense as putting Steven Seagal in a comedy, or ice cream on a pizza. The tense slowburn of poker shouldn't mesh with the frantic, fried brain workout of puzzle games.

And yet... somehow, it does. What Poker Smash does is drop poker rules in place of the classic 'match three colours' cliché and by doing so, finds its unique flavour of puzzling without ever having to stretch too far to look for it. Match three, get a royal flush, get a straight, all the poker hands are in here and provide a welcome twist on the genre. There are extra challenges, bombs to detonate 'troublesome' cards and slo-mo but they're not even needed, as the game itself is strong enough without the extra fluff.


Some familiarity with the rules of poker helps you squeeze the most out of potential combos, so that's an initial hurdle that has to be overcome. Likewise, the presentation is slightly garish, especially now we've been spoiled with slick titles smearing their style across XBLA such as Lumines Live, E4 and Rez. However, the core puzzling itself is horribly addictive. Poker Smash isn't going to make you want to eat ice cream-topped pizza but it is the perfect way to kill a few hours.

The verdict

Well worth a gamble

Live Arcade
Void Star Creations
Void Star Creations
Puzzle, Sim / Strategy