Developer: OteetO Limited
Price: Free
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Playtime Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Poker and iOS combine together like peanut butter and chocolate. Ask every other developer who has released the popular card game on the platform, and they will agree. Too bad that process could take years, given how many of the titles exist in the App Store. But every once in a while a new take on the ever popular poker formula comes along and succeeds in trying something new. The recently released Texas Ask’Em Poker manages to do just that, providing just enough of the familiar, morphed with just enough innovation to stand out.

There are not enough trivia games for portable platforms, pure and simple. Seeing this obvious hole in the market, developer OteetO decided to take the tried and true mechanics of Texas Hold’Em and blend in a trivia angle that completely changes the way a round can play out. Pre-deal, each pair of cards are rated by the computer. All Players are then asked the same random trivia question. Depending on who was right and who answered the quickest, the pairs of cards are divvied out, giving the best set to first correct answer.

While this may be only a small change in the flow of a match, for skilled poker sharks it could make a gigantic difference. If nothing else, it never hurts to let random knowledge come to a player’s aid from time-to-time. After the cards are dealt the hand plays out like any other Texas Hold’em game, with the correct answer only being revealed at the end of the round. The overall presentation may lack some of the flair and flash that is present in other poker titles, but making any other changes to the gameplay might have risked alienating purists. Plus, for those that are really wanting to test their wit, there are several different trivia hoppers that are themed to keep players guessing.

Texas Hold’em doesn’t traditionally offer much wiggle room for creativity, yet somehow Texas Ask’Em Poker managed to have something fresh in the cards. This is one hand that you will definitely want to play out, and often. Ante up, because the brain-busting questions will just keep on coming.

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