With a roster of eye-catching rivals and a briskly-paced game of Texas Hold’em, Poker Pretty Girls Battle: Fantasy World Edition feels like four-of-a-kind on Switch, especially given the game’s reasonable price point.
Platform: Switch, PlayStation 4, previously on PC
Developer: Zoo, eastasiasoft
Release date: May 6th, 2021
Price: $5.99 via Nintendo eShop and other digital marketplaces. $4.79 launch price
There are few consistently dependable publishers in gaming. Whether it’s BioWare’s stumble with Anthem, a mark on Ubisoft’s otherwise solid Tom Clancy franchise with Ghost Recon Breakpoint, or the whole Cyberpunk 2077 debacle, unblemished track records are exceedingly rare. While EastAsiaSoft has put out a fair number of mediocre titles, the publisher’s ports of Zoo Corporation’s PC titles have been persistently enjoyable and affordable.
Perhaps that reliability stems from the other side of Zoo’s business. The Nagano-based developers also create products and services for pharmacies, which is a business sector that demands dependability. On the software side, efforts such as Bishoujo Battle Cyber Panic! and Delicious! Pretty Girls Mahjong Solitaire weren’t excessively flashy or over bloated. Instead, each six-dollar title provided an enjoyable gameplay that could be enjoyed in bite-sized servings, which was ideal for a portable platform like the Nintendo Switch.
A Speedy Game of Poker
Heading into Poker Pretty Girls Battle: Fantasy World Edition, I expected a small dip in quality. While I’ve played a multitude of Texas Hold’em simulations, many echoed the deliberate pace of an actual poker game, instead of the swiftness often associated with video games. But smartly, Poker Pretty Girls Battle keeps the tempo lively, assigning different face buttons to fold, call, check, and raise commands.
Your rivals don’t dawdle either, with each instantly laying their bets down. When you are feeling fortunate, the amount that you wish to raise can be adjusted with a horizontal slider. As such, each betting round is executed in seconds, and there’s are persistent on-screen indicators of your opponent’s actions.
More Battling than Basking in Beauty
While Poker Pretty Girls Battle’s lovely ladies are present and accounted for, Zoo never lets them be a distraction. In the game’s Pretty Mode, they’re mostly confined to static poker-chip portraits that don’t divulge any ‘tells’. These pretty girls are a steeled eyed bunch, and as the game’s difficulty gradually increases, they also demonstrate that they aren’t awful card players. Go all in and you can often set them to fold. Periodically, they’ll even try to bluff you with little more than a pair of threes. But behind a fighting game-like intro, they’re unable to divert your attention.
At least during each game. Away from the table, you’ll each parts of a jigsaw puzzle, what gradually assembles into a more appropriate exhibition of attractiveness. Like Zoo’s previous entries, there’s no nudity, with the 16-member cast resembling World War II-era pinup models. Sure, you might receive a few quizzical looks if you play Poker Pretty Girls Battle is public, but no one can accuse of promoting indecency in public. Pleasingly, the run the typical gamut of gaming tastes, so if you appreciate erotic elves or sexy sorceresses, add an additional five percent to the review score. Pleasingly, you can create your own game in Free Play mode, filling the table with any unlocked maidens.
Although Poker Pretty Girls Battle: Fantasy World Edition lacks variations like different poker varieties, there’s more than enough enjoyment to justify the game’s six-dollar price. And given the dearth of card games on Switch (Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics is recommended but as a compilation is considerably more expensive), anyone who appreciates a quick game of Texas Hold’em will want to go all in on this one.