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Available from

Telltale Games

 

Platform

PC

 

Genre

Card Game

 

Publisher

Telltale Games

 

Developer

Telltale Games

 

ESRB

M (Mature)*

 

Released

November 22, 2010

 

*If bad language option is turned on

 

 

- Even if gamers don’t like poker, those with Team Fortress 2 can get cheap item upgrades by playing
- The actual poker itself is very good, even easy to pick up for gamers that aren’t exactly card sharks

 

 

- With “bad language” filter off, gamers might get distracted from playing good hands of poker by the potty mouths at the table with them

 

 

Review: RISK: Factions (360)

Review: Give Me the Brain / Lord of the Fries Special Edition (Tabletop Game)

Review: Fightball (Tabletop Game)

 

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Poker Night at the Inventory

Score: 8.5 / 10

 

poker night at the inventory          poker night at the inventory

 

For those who enjoy a game of poker with some friends gathered around the table, sometimes it’s who’s at the table playing, and not how the game plays out hand after hand, that can make the game of cards especially enjoyable, or at the very least interesting. Interesting – and yes, enjoyable is exactly what poker becomes with the PC/Mac title Poker Night at the Inventory, which gathers some diverse and definitely interesting gaming characters together for a little poker night fun. How’s this for an eclectic poker table? Max, the crazy “rabbitty thing” from the Sam & Max games; Strongbad, the egotistical Lucha Libre-loving screwball from Homestar Runner; Penny Arcade’s Tycho; and finally, the Heavy from Team Fortress 2.

As this is a title from Telltale Games, it’s easy to understand why Max and Strongbad have a seat at the table: both are leading men (or in Max’s case, rabbit) from previous Telltale Games point & click adventure games. Tycho, well, not sure how he secured his seat, since there’s no apparent tie between him and Telltale. The Heavy’s here because of the prizes gamers will win if they play some winning hands of poker: five unlocks that gamers who own Team Fortress 2 can implement

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into their Team Fortress 2 gameplay sessions.

It’s a very crafty cross-promotional catch that will entice gamers to get Poker Night at the Inventory if they own Team Fortress 2 or vice versa: go out and get Team Fortress 2 after playing Poker Night at the Inventory. Especially considering the ridiculously low price of the game: just 5 bucks.

The items that can be unlocked are the Iron Curtain weapon, that can

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be used by the Heavy in Team Fortress 2; a handgun, the Lugermorph used by Max, that both the Scout and Engineer can use (Max’s Freelance Police badge is also available to wear for any character); Tycho’s Enthusiast Timepiece Wrist Watch that the Spy can use; and Strongbad’s Dangeresque sunglasses that Demoman can wear. Those are the Team Fortress 2 items that can be unlocked, but there are also special poker tables and card decks that can be won and made available for poker playing.

Even if a poker game isn’t a strong interest to gamers as much as some good-old shooter action online, at worst, Poker Night at the Inventory is a cheap item upgrade for Team Fortress 2 gamers. But it’s much more than that.

The actual game of poker gamers will play is very good. Not much of a poker player or very knowledgeable beyond the rudimentary rules of the game, I was easily able to play, enjoy and even win rounds of poker. Poker Night at the Inventory is not difficult at all to pick up for those gamers that aren’t exactly card sharks.

One strange little feature is the option to enable a cussing feature. Anybody’s that had a few friends over for some poker around a table has probably unloaded or heard unleashed an F-bomb or two. With the “bad language” filter off, gamers will be subjected to strong language as part of the usual commentary from the other table-sitters. Having a swearing rabbit or Lucha Libre lunatic is somewhat disconcerting and a bit distracting from playing good hands of poker. But by applying the filter, the potty mouths at the table clean up the foul language squeaky-clean. The talk at the table is really quite natural, too (filter or not), almost what would be expected if these four fellows were sitting at an actual card table playing poker with the gamer.

Because of the very good graphical look of the game, it indeed feels like gamers are really sitting at a table with these guys, too, impressive considering that they’re all cartoon-looking characters. Poker Night at the Inventory is comparable to the card and dice games from Red Dead Redemption in that respect, right on down to being able to look easily at the cards already in gamers’ hands to decide on the next move.

No matter if gamers are a fan of casual PC/Mac poker of just looking for an easy way to score some Team Fortress 2 item upgrades, Poker Night at the Inventory is a great bargain that also happens to be a very good poker game with a most unusual collection of card competitors.

– Lee Cieniawa
lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(January 26, 2011)

 

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