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Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament [MOBILE]

Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament Review

"Although the presentation isn't the best, and the interface is a little cramped, Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament is definitely one of the better poker games available."

Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament, from Kayak Interactive and Super Happy Fun Fun, has a lot going for it, above and beyond its licensing deal with the popular Fox Sports Network TV show. With endorsements and playing advice from some of the game's brightest professionals, in addition to generally solid poker play from CPU opponents and a lush online play mode, this Texas hold 'em game is loaded for bear. Although the presentation isn't the best, and the interface is a little cramped, Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament is definitely one of the better poker games available.

This game's got some big names.

This game's got some big names.

Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament offers two ways to play: single-player and online. The single-player game is customizable by the number of CPU players you'd like to sit down with (it goes up to seven), the type of betting structure (limit or no limit), and the buy-in (you can start with as little as $5, which makes for an extremely quick game, or you can go all the way up to $1 million). You're playing against luminaries like Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, and Howard Lederer offline, and their level of play makes it seem believable. There's no way to toggle difficulty in the single-player game, however, which could prove daunting for new players. Also, the game doesn't seem to keep track of your history during offline play, which is a little strange given that the online mode boasts comprehensive individual stat-keeping, as well as a Hall of Fame.

That's not all that sets Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament's online offering apart. The online infrastructure lets you create an avatar so you can jump right into an automatic game, set up public or private games, find and play with buddies, and even use chat macros during play. Other games have come to market with some of these features, but none of them have managed to create an experience as integrated as this one. In our experience, network play demonstrated little or no latency, and messaging other players in a game seemed to work smoothly. The only real problem with the online game is an occasional lack of competition, as the game doesn't appear to populate missing seats with bots.

A little advice never hurt anyone.

A little advice never hurt anyone.

Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament's interface makes some innovations to the baseline for mobile poker games, and it's usable enough, if somewhat disorganized. An example of a good addition is the odds meter, which displays your percentage chance of winning a hand based on all visible cards. On the other hand, the game's various play screens try to pack too much information into a small space, which is made smaller by the unwieldy chat/summary window that takes up the bottom third of the screen on the LG VX7000. The pot amount's stuck in the upper left-hand portion of the screen, all the onscreen numbers are small, and your viewpoint is constantly switching between the table view, bet, and heads-up modes, which is confusing. Plus, there's no manual control over the viewpoint or the chat window. The graphics themselves aren't great, either, because the celebrity avatars lack fine detail, even when the camera focuses on them head-on. The game's sound is pretty good, with some shuffling, dealing, and chip sound effects, as well as a goofy title theme.

Although there are a few bumps in the road, Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament is generally a very good poker game. The game's creator has succeeded in crafting an excellent online poker experience, and it's included a lot of exclusive goodies, too (like the substantial poker advice section). This game is a good choice for experienced poker players who are looking to play online.

The Good

  • Great online features  
  • Lots of poker content  
  • Poker celebrities  
  • Good sound.

The Bad

  • Sloppy interface  
  • No CPU difficulty levels.

Posted on Sep 13, 2005



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