148 Apps on Facebook 148 Apps on Twitter

Tag: Card games »

Michael Schacht's Web of Power Card Game: The Duel Review

Posted by Rob Rich on July 11th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: Skotos Tech
Price: $2.99
Version: 1.00
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar


Many people are familiar with domination-based games in some form or another. Some might involve occupying territories with ever-expanding armies while others allow for more subtle tactics such as cultural assimilation, but it’s a concept most have come across. Although as widespread as the general idea may be, I can’t say that I’ve ever seen it combined with something along the lines of Mahjong. It’s certainly a little odd, but it’s also interesting.

Michael Schacht’s Web of Power Card Game: The Duel is one such bizarre hybrid. A number of tiles representing various countries are spread across the game board for the payer and their AI opponent to gather. Tiles can only be grabbed from the outlying edges, however, so in order to reach any desired pieces in the middle a path must be cleared first. After acquiring a tile (or two if they’re for the same country and posses two country symbols between them), claim tokens can also be placed to “call dibs” on a specific tile or simply attempt to control an opponent’s movement. Throughout this constant back-and-forth it’s also possible to collect special tokens that will improve the worth of gathered pieces belonging to specific countries.

There’s something almost captivating about a game in Web of Power. While it might not be much to look at there’s an awful lot of planning that goes into each and every turn. Assuming players take it seriously, that is. This is not a game for folks who dislike planning and strategizing, but anyone who loves to spend several minutes setting up their next move (and possibly even laying traps through subtle manipulation) will doubtlessly enjoy themselves.

I could complain about the complete lack of any form of multiplayer in Web of Power, as I have with many Skotos Tech games, but this game can be so tough I’m almost glad I don’t have to contend with another person. A bigger issue, however, is that it’s much more of a complex board game than many iOS users are probably used to. The manual alone is several dense pages of text, much of which won’t make sense without actual context and there’s no tutorial on offer. It can be learned, and when it is it can be rewarding, but it can also be massively intimidating in the beginning.

Web of Power is definitely an interesting and thought-provoking game, but it’s also not too terribly accessible. Those who are willing and able to invest the time to learn will be sure to enjoy themselves but everyone else looking to dabble in a bit of strategy should probably start with something a bit less complicated. Or at least a bit more newbie friendly.

Ante-Up as World Series of Poker Prepares to Hit the App Store

Posted by Rob Rich on July 2nd, 2012

Poker has kind of taken the country by storm over the past several years. It’s made its way into all manner of media, obviously including video games. So what makes this particular digital rendition of card-based gambling worth checking out? Quite a lot, it turns out.

All of the expected options are available in World Series of Poker, such as Texas Hold ‘Em and even Omaha Poker, but there’s a slew of more social-oriented features that are actually pretty awesome. Every player has an account that automatically tracks virtually every aspect of their games; thus helping them to better understand their own play style through statistics as well as allowing them to show off their skills with a number of different trophies such as special tournament rings.

It’s easy to tell what a player needs to work on (i.e. too much folding, not enough folding, etc.) at a glance, but what’s also cool is that really good players can gain access to a special league of games that are only available to others that have earned the same honor. In other words, seriously good poker players won’t have to worry about finding themselves in a game full of casual players. It’s also easy to find, invite, and join games that are already in progress. Each game is represented with a table, and players have only to tap an open seat to invite a buddy or two. And it’s just as easy to join a game.

I wasn’t able to procure any pricing information, but World Series of Poker will be available on the App Store “soon.”

Bicycle Jacked Up! A New Breed of Interactive Card Games

Posted by Lisa Caplan on May 4th, 2012

There is a new app/accessory hybrid for card gamers that is changing the rules. Or at least it aims to. Bicycle Jacked Up! Interactive Card Games gives traditional cards a very 21st century twist.

The special playing cards made by the well-known Bicycle brand are available at most major retailers or can be purchased directly from their web site. Right now card lovers can buy War, Solitaire or Hearts for around six dollars each, and the cards come with a special iPhone stand. When used with the iPhone or iPad app, Jack the Joker hosts a multi-media “adventure” that adds both comedy and gameplay variations to the classics along with live card games. We love the way the app switches up the rules of these familiar games to add variety and replay value.

Don’t have the special cards yet? The apps can also be used to keep and share scores for several players at once. If you grab a deck, be sure to let us know what you think in the comments.

Big Win Blackjack Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on April 27th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: HIT AND MISS
It feels a little empty, but Big Win Blackjack is still a worthwhile game of twenty-one.
Read The Full Review »

Hardwood Hearts, Classic Hearts with Improved Graphics

Posted by Kevin Stout on April 23rd, 2012

Silver Creek Entertainment, developer of “Hardwood” card games like Hardwood Solitaire IV and Hardwood Spades, has released the next card game it its Hardwood series, Hardwood Hearts.

Hardwood Hearts is an app for playing the classic card game Hearts, of course. Hardwood Hearts and the other Hardwood games are known for freshening up classics card games like Hearts by adding high quality graphics and sound. Hardwood Hearts has a sort of fantasy theme with gnomes and fairies as characters to play the classic game.

Hardwood Hearts includes the traditional, partnership game mode as well as singles (individual mode), Spot Hearts, and Timed games.

Players create their own fantasy avatar for playing this fairy tale version of the game as well as changing the beautiful background for the set of the game. Backgrounds, cards, avatars, and tables that aren’t included in the game can be added with in-app purchases.

Hardwood Hearts is available for $2.99.

Hearts Tournament Makes Cards Social Again

Posted by Rob Rich on April 16th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Now, I've never been a huge card game enthusiast. That is to say, the kind of card games that use playing cards. Because of this, I have absolutely no idea how to play Hearts. I am a fan of turn-based multiplayer iOS games, however. Seeing as there are a good deal of iOS users who have similar tastes in their multiplayer, and a good deal of people who actually do know how to play Hearts, this seems like a kind of natural progression.

Hearts Tournament from Trivial Technology was designed to juggle multiple games simultaneously. Up to 30 in fact. Best of all, players can mess around with their own single player games while waiting for their friends or random opponents to take their own turns. Along with all the card-slinging goodness are leaderboards to dominate and challenges to complete in order to earn special items, achievements, and more.

Hearts Tournament is available on the App Store now for $0.99. Hearts fans should feel free to dive right in and start juggling dozens of games immediately.

Pyramid ♠ Solitaire Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on January 26th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: COST PROHIBITIVE
Pyramid ♠ Solitaire fills the solo-play card game void nicely, but it might be hard for enthusiasts to get past the sticker shock.
Read The Full Review »

The Portable Podcast, Episode 117

Posted by Carter Dotson on December 27th, 2011

iCADE, You Cade, We All Cade!

On This Episode:

  • Carter and indie musician Jaden Walker (composer of The Portable Podcast theme song) discuss a variety of topics in the land of iOS, from AT&T data caps, the iCADE, card games, and asynchronous multiplayer games.

  • Who We Are:

  • Host: Carter Dotson
  • Co-Host: Jaden Walker, The Eternal

  • Music:

  • "Beatnes7 (Theme to The Portable Podcast)" by The Eternal - Download on iTunes here:

  • "Nanocarp" by The Eternal

  • How to Listen:

  • Click Here to Subscribe in iTunes:
  • Click Here to Subscribe via RSS.
  • Listen Here: [powerpress]
  • Apps Mentioned on This Episode:

    Alchemy Meets Collectible Cards in Fullmetal Battle, by Funimation

    Posted by Rob Rich on November 22nd, 2011
    iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

    A good number of people are familiar with Fullmetal Alchemist, whether they've actually watched it or not. As far as anime goes, it's kind of a big-name series. And unlike other popular series (*cough* Dragon Ball Z *cough*) it's actually good. The story of the Elric brothers has seen a number of adaptations and spin-offs, so it was only a matter of time before one of those spin-offs got its own game.

    FMA Battle is a relatively new collectible card game based on the "less old" Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood series. Calling it a spin-off, however, isn't entirely accurate. The original show followed the manga (a.k.a the source material) up until about the halfway mark, then went off and did its own thing. Brotherhood sticks to the script, so to speak. So technically, the original anime series was actually a spin-off. Confusing, no?

    Getting away from semantics and back to the game at-hand, FMA Battle is a free-to-play CCG set in the FMA universe. Players will construct their deck and customize a team of three alchemists while continually dueling with others online. Cards/characters will gain experience as they're used, earning new abilities as they get incrementally stronger. Of course, this is a freemium game, so deck expansion is limited unless players are willing to pony up some actual cash to buy new cards.

    Free online multiplayer. Collectible cards. Fullmetal Alchemist. I think it's safe to assume this will find its niche pretty fast. If it sounds interesting, then why not check it out? It's currently on the App Store, and as I've previously stated (repeatedly) it's free.

    Four Seasons Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    By Rob Rich on October 6th, 2011
    Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: A CONFUSING ADDICTION
    Sprightly Software has translated a lesser known and rather difficult game of solitaire, ready or not.
    Read The Full Review »

    Presenting: Golf Solitaire 1.2 by Sprightly Software

    Posted by Rob Rich on September 23rd, 2011
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

    Single-player card games and portable devices, especially phones, have always seemed to be a perfect match. There's just something inherently right about shuffling cards around on a phone (or something of relatively similar dimensions) during the morning commute. And honestly, a game doesn't get much more accessible than solitaire, right?

    Of course, there isn't just one kind of solitaire. At least, not anymore. Sprightly Software has provided App Store users with their own rendition of a variant called Golf Solitaire, in which players have nine rounds in which to clear a field of 35 cards. This is done by drawing a card from the bottom deck, then taking cards from the field that are one number higher or lower (i.e. 3-4-3-2-3-4-5-etc...).

    The new 1.2 update has added a few Game Center achievements and a single hole mode for an even quicker on-the-go experience. Just in case this quirky little solo card game with golf-styled sound effects sounds appealing, it's available right now on the App Store for $1.99.

    Solitaire by Backflip Review

    iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
    By Rob Rich on August 24th, 2011
    Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: ACES!
    Backflip Studios' take on the virtually timeless classic may just be the best iOS iteration yet, and it's free!
    Read The Full Review »

    Kard Combat Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    By Rob Rich on August 17th, 2011
    Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: WORTH A LOOK
    Additional content and a bit more access for freemium users makes Kard Combat a serious "Not Quite a CCG" contender.
    Read The Full Review »

    Simply Poker Squares Review

    By Kevin Stout on August 2nd, 2011
    Simply Poker Squares is a universal poker solitaire app with some weird, but cool, achievements and a fun look.
    Read The Full Review »

    Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    By Rob Rich on July 27th, 2011
    Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: COLLECT THIS
    Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer successfully merges simplicity with strategy to create one of the most addicting and accessible card games in the App Store.
    Read The Full Review »