Feb 26, 2010


When I first saw Pokanoid in the Android Market I thought it had something to do with Pokemon... thus no interest. However the developer emailed me earlier in the week asking if I would review it and telling me that it's actually a cross between Arkanoid and Poker. I really like Arkanoid and don't mind poker so I'm giving it a go.

As stated the game is a cross between Arkanoid where you have a paddle at the bottom of the screen and have to bounce a ball off of bricks until you hit them all. As you hit them they are destroyed, but some bricks reveal special powers. The poker potion of the game adds a twist on this such that each brick is actually a playing card. The first hit reveals the card and the second one causes it to drop giving you a chance to catch it and add it to a poker hand that you're building. For example, in the screenshot a 9 of hearts is the only card in the current player's hand. The better poker hand you build the more points. Some cards are special... and do things such as multiply your score, reveal all cards of a given suit immediately, and so forth...

The game plays well. I did experience some slow down here and there when presumably a background task consumed some CPU time, but unfortunately if that slow down comes at the wrong time it can be costly to your score. The interesting aspect of this game comes from the whole juggling in your head of what poker hand is going to be best based on all revealed cards, trying to knock the ball in the needed direction, and then when you accidentally hit some other card trying to keep the ball in play while NOT catching said card otherwise you ruin your hand. I, personally, haven't earned anything better than a two pair so far.

The graphics and nice and the sound is fine... nothing exemplary about either, but this isn't a game that relies on graphics and sound. The controls are the standard move your finger back and forth on the touch screen to move the paddle. The interesting revelation I had with this was that I can instantly move from one side of the screen to the other by not dragging, but pointing at the spot that I want the paddle to move to. Sliding my finger back and forth with any of these games makes me feel like I'm going to eventually rub the tip off so that knowledge helped me in playing this game.

In summary I give this one 4/5 stars. I like the somewhat different concept and the game certainly held my interest and offers a lot of challenge. The game includes playing through 1-3 decks of cards (so it's not play until you die by default) or unlimited decks. Oh, and thank God this didn't have anything to do with Pokemon... I'm sure it's much better that way.

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