Poker Club – Review
Follow Genre: Poker
Developer: Ripstone Ltd.
Publisher: Ripstone Ltd.
Platform: PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Tested on: Xbox One

Poker Club – Review

Site Score
5.8
Good: Poker for every platform with real people
Bad: Bit slow with poor UI
User Score
9.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)

Poker is one of those card games that you can’t really get around anymore as a gamer. Even if you don’t play it on i.e. Facebook by using Zynga’s Poker game or a game such as Poker Club, it still generally gets included in games such as Dead Rising and Red Dead Redemption 2. So eventually, you will learn it one way or another.

Story

Poker Club might be filled with traditional Texas Hold ’em games, but it doesn’t include a story in the form of a campaign or challengable NPCs. As a matter of fact, you are required to have a stable internet connection (which includes i.e. Xbox Live) to play this game, as you will only be able to play with real people in a virtual environment. Leveling up, trying to be the best, these things could be considered to be your legacy and your story.

Graphics

The graphics in Poker Club are not very fancy. The character creator you start with, to shake and make a new “pro player”, has those classic shitty hair graphics you see in several games, and the customization options aren’t great either. This results in players around you generally looking generic like a basement full of clones from a failed experiment. The locations where you can play look alright though, with plenty of “extras” to be seen, like other people (NPCs) who aren’t playing poker and are often doing something else in the same room.

Sound

The best sound in the game is the atmospheric background noise that somehow makes the locations you find yourself a little more realistic, with i.e. soft humming of far-away machinery in a basement. Besides that, the sound is actually pretty disappointing. You have some emotes to show players how you feel, and the noises that come out of your mouth sound a bit like a B-graded Sims game. It’s not really disturbing but could have been done far better nonetheless. What is really annoying though, is the lack of indication sounds that enforce what’s going on in the game. It might even be the cause of slow gameplay as the lack of proper sound effects could mean you are suddenly inactive for longer than is desirable, unaware it was your turn a full minute ago, and you yourself are slowing the game down. This is accompanied by a rather poor user interface or HUD.

Gameplay

Poker Club offers traditional Texas Hold ’em games for online gameplay. This means you get to sit with multiple players at a single table, play one versus one, or participate in tournaments. Then there’s a community sense by i.e. joining a club, which is comparable to a clan, but in the end, it will come down to good old poker with rivers and folding and going all-in and all. You can’t really do much wrong with poker, except that there are poker games out there that have done the same but better.

Where Zynga Poker is very clear with the sound effects and the interface, Poker Club is not. This might have something to do with the fact that Poker Club has cross-platform play enabled, meaning you get to take on fanboys on all different types of consoles. Still, you’d expect your interface to change like you’d expect a sound indication when it’s your turn. It doesn’t though. Simple “mistakes” like these make the game more stressful than it has to be. These are design flaws though and could be managed with a simple update.

What Poker Club does well is that it adds goals to achieve during each game. Goals such as making another player go bust, or winning and taking 500 in chips during the specific game you are playing. Playing and getting achievements adds experience and levels, and eventually a couple more customization options as well. Though it would be nice to see that the core gameplay would be in order and enjoyable enough to also enjoy the progression fully. Players have too much time, and stuff like looking at your cards has an animation that runs up to actually seeing your cards. Such things could be managed better to avoid getting stuck with sleepy, slow players. To give you an example, we generally found that a simple round of poker including the betting and calling could easily go up to 5 or 10 full minutes. Which is quite long, no?

Conclusion

Poker Club gives you some traditional poker with real people that could be a lot of fun but is overshadowed by poor design choices and slow gameplay. Even with the cool progression system, with many other poker games out there, this game sets itself apart rather negatively as it fails to be really special and succeeds in being either a bit annoying or not very professional. The game could be better with some well-needed updates.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)
Poker Club - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

1 Comment

  1. […] Players can finally enjoy a true game of poker on the go, as Ripstone Games is happy to announce that its acclaimed card game collection: Poker Club, is finally out now for the Nintendo Switch for £19.99 / €21.99 / $21.99. The Switch edition of Poker Club features all the content and updates already released for other versions and supports crossplay. You can read our full review here. […]

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