Hands on with Poker Smash for iPhone

I recently had the opportunity to spend time playing Drew Card's Poker Smash game. Built for iPhone, this application offers standard matching game strategy (think "Bejeweled" or "Tetris") mixed with a bit of Poker savvy. With Poker Smash, you can eliminate cards by matching 3 of a kind, but you can also go for straights, flushes, full houses, and so forth. That adds a pleasant layer of complexity to what would otherwise be an ordinary game.

As time progresses, cards move up the screen -- first slowly, and then as the game proceeds, much faster. You can slide cards left and right, but not up and down. Your goal is to create winning poker hands, allowing those cards to be eliminated from the stack. Better hands receive better special effects -- a straight or a flush produces in-game minimalist fireworks.

Poker Smash is not a terribly deep game but it's an amusing one, and one that's perfect for short times when you just want to play a little when sitting in a waiting room or caught on a bus. I found that it quickly engaged my interest and that I was disappointed to hear my name called or my stop approach. Selling for just two bucks, it's a good value too.

Poker Smash was originally developed for the Xbox 360 LIVE Arcade. Games that can make the leap from another platform to the iPhone tend to include strong offerings, having been worth the extra development costs needed to create the port. I enjoyed playing Poker Smash and can unreservedly recommend it as a nice little addition to your iPhone gaming arsenal.