In the sequel to Telltale's Poker Night at the Inventory, you are pitted in a poker tournament against four characters from different franchises. These include: Brock Sampson from The Venture Brothers, Claptrap from Borderlands, Ash from Evil Dead/Army of Darkness and Sam from Sam and Max. Additionally GLaDOS from Portal acts as the dealer, while Max is also sitting nearby to interact with Sam. While they're all there for poker, what makes the Poker Night games stand out are the conversations between the talkative characters.
There are two styles of poker with Texas Hold'Em and Omaha. The only real difference between the two is how many cards you're dealt. The difficulty of the Poker depends on how good at poker you are, and in my case I'm not very good! If you're the same, you'll want to learn the 'tells' of the different characters.
Once the interactions between characters begin to repeat, the longevity of this game depends on how much you enjoy poker. Lengthy conversations become boring by the third time, but there should be a few hours before the game begins to repeat itself often enough.
The visuals look good, each character looks exactly how they should and for a game ported down from full-size TV and computer screens, everything is easy to see on an iPhone screen. The poker table, chips and cards are all customizable if you have enough in-game tokens to unlock them. The visual style can also change depending on which franchise represented in the game appeals to you.
The framerate is not always the most solid, and there are some janky moments when characters are going from idle to doing an action or starting an interaction. But it is pretty minor, considering that they've managed to squeeze this game onto the phone. There are plenty of different things the characters might do, even if it's something new that happens as a character is booted from the game, and there's likely to be plenty to make you laugh.
You'll want to play this game with the sound on, not only to catch all the dialogue exchanged between characters, but to catch the lounge versions of songs, whether it's 'Short Change Hero' from the Borderlands 2 opening, The Venture Brothers theme music or Sam and Max music which is already jazzy enough. The music to represent Ash seems to be music from Telltale's The Walking Dead game which leads me to believe his inclusion in the game might be due to a lack of wise-cracking zombie killer from those games whereas Ash fits the profile.
The voices for the most part are spot on. Patrick Warburton as Brock is as good as he ever is on the show, Claptrap and Sam are both voiced by their voice actors. The only notable person missing is that Ash that is not voiced by Bruce Campbell. As much as the guy stepping in for him sounds close enough, it's still noticeable for an Evil Dead or Bruce fan. The conversations between the characters are chuckle-worthy to sneaking out some proper laughs. There are a bunch of in-jokes so be warned, if you're not so familiar with each of the characters some conversations might not make much sense. Overall a big part of what makes the Poker Night games appealing is the conversations between the characters and there is well over an hour of dialogue that happens throughout the games of poker to keep you playing to hear it all.
Even on the iPhone screen it never feels cramped or that you are pressing the wrong things. The game is as suited for a touch interface as using a mouse or controller.
Is there any in-app purchasing?
There is no in-app purchasing. There are unlockables in the form of different cards, chips and playing area, but they are all unlocked with tokens you have to win in the game. You can also use those tokens to buy a drink for other character so their 'tells' become more obvious.
Telltale's Poker Night games always feel like they are less about the actual poker and more about the funny interactions between these different characters. If you have some knowledge of the different characters/franchises then there's even more to get out of the game. For a few hours you should get enough laughs/chuckles and smiles to make it worth the purchase and your time to play. While the game is available on the PC and consoles for the same price I would recommend purchasing it for the phone for some funny poker on the go.