Developer: Showdown Online LLC
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad3, iPhone5

Graphics/Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Showdown: The Card Game is somewhat of a cross between poker and war. A game consists of three to six players, with the number of cards dealt depending on the number of players. They choose two cards to play per round, and the player with the lowest-value hand is eliminated. Players can call, check, or fold during any round and card values match standard poker values: any pair will automatically beat hands with singles, ties are determined by suit rank, etc. The two players left standing bet on their last two cards (the showdown).

photo 1Newbies can view the tutorial or play the practice table as often as needed and will not gain or lose any chips while practicing. Once the players join a real table however, let the chips fall where they may. But no worries; chip stacks are available for purchase anywhere from $0.99 to $99.99. There is an advertised bonus – a daily log-in slot machine with chip pay-outs – however it isn’t quite as “daily” as claimed.

Those who enjoy the competitive edge may earn achievements and climb the leaderboards against your friends. I’m not sure what unlocking achievements gets them, though. No chip amount is attached or seemingly awarded once reached. Or they join the tournament tables instead, which (although I have tried to join and can’t) offer a 10,000 prize. Speaking of trouble joining tables, this is where the app gets sticky.

photo 3For me, the one appeal of this game was the ability to play it live against my husband and son. We love to play cards, and have recently developed an affinity for poker. Since the game allows Facebook connections we immediately allowed the app to do so. The home screen offers choices: Play Now, Choose a Table, Private Tables, or Tournament Tables. Once clicked, a table with six empty spots appears. Players will often see, “Waiting for more players to join…” I can’t count the times I’ve sat waiting for someone to join me. My husband, son, and I repeatedly tried to “invite” each other to play and often nothing would happen. Sometimes two of us would show up, but the game can’t go on without a minimum of three – it’s extremely frustrating.

The differences between Play Now, Choose a Table, and Private Tables are not clear. We just pushed buttons and tried to connect. Over and over. I still don’t know how private tables or tournament tables work. We finally connected in Choose a Table and in Play Now, but it still isn’t consistent. When we are able to play, whether it’s with each other or with random guests, we often encounter an error connecting to the Showdown server. A couple of times my husband received this error on his device and wasn’t able to play, but his “player” was still revealing hands on my device. So it’s a little glitchy.

The hiccups are a bummer, truly, because otherwise Showdown: The Card Game is a fun game.

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