Kickstarter Watch List: Poker Smash PC

Poker Smash Main

I love unique puzzle games. Back when I was doing my original 30 Reviews in 30 Days, I reviewed one for XBLA called Poker Smash. I loved the game, giving it a 4 out of 5 stars (we were only doing ratings out of 5 at the time). 

Void Star Creations, the company that made Poker Smash, is now looking to bring the game to PC, and it has turned to Kickstarter for support. As an avid fan of the original game, it only made sense for me to make the PC port of Poker Smash the focus of my second Kickstarter Watch List.

Now in my Kickstarter Watch List articles, I will answer three main questions:

  • What is the project? 
  • Who is making It?
  • Why do I think it is worth backing?

What is Poker Smash PC?

Ever wondered what would happen if you took Tetris Attack and mixed it with Poker? If so, then you have the basic idea for Poker Smash PC, a game where you race to put together poker hands to keep the board from filling up with cards. As you play, cards ranked 10 through Ace of each suit will slowly rise from the bottom of the board. You rearrange the cards to create hands: the more rare the hand, the better the score.

Poker Smash is easy to learn. Pulling off 14X combos, however, takes time.

Poker Smash is easy to learn. Pulling off 14X combos, however, takes time.

While the concept may seem rather simple, the gameplay can be anything but. Along with the standard “cards move faster the longer you play,” you have other elements thrown in to add to it. These items include challenges where you try and put the required hand together within a certain time limit and the ability to slow down time for a short while, making it easier to move cards. Add to these aspects the various game modes, and you have a fantastic game for fans of puzzles and poker alike.

For more details on the game itself, read my review of the game.  You can also download a demo on the game’s Kickstarter page, though the company does warn it is a bit rough around the edges.

Who is Void Star Creations?

Void Start Creations was originally created by two people: David Card and Ryan Ellis. Together, they made the XBLA game Poker Smash, which was a hit for Microsoft’s arcade platform. They then worked on several other ideas for XBLA games, but none of them were ever accepted, and in the end, Ryan ended up leaving the company to work for Bungie.

Void Star still lives on, however. With the addition of Chris Seline and David Sease, the studio is hard at work on a 3D social interactive experience/game called Junction. The studio has also received a lot of requests to bring Poker Smash to PC, but after spending much development time on games that did not get accepted on XBLA (and the lackluster reception of Poker Smash on iOS), Void Star had neither the time nor resources to fulfill the request. For this reason, they have turned to Kickstarter, giving those who want the game for the PC a chance to help make it happen, while also having the chance to try out Junction if they so choose.

Why is Poker Smash PC worth backing?

One of the things you have to decide any time you look at a Kickstarter game is whether the end project will live up to the potential you see in the pitch. The great thing about the Poker Smash PC is there is already a finished project, and any of us who have played it can tell you the answer to this question is “yes, it will be worth it.” The game is fun, addicting and would be a welcome addition to any puzzle game fan’s PC library. For that reason alone, this is a project worth funding.

Never got to try the multiplayer. Here's hoping they get the game on Steam.

Never got to try the multiplayer. Here’s hoping they get the game on Steam.

The great thing is that is not the only reason to fund this project. The reward tiers are perfectly suited for the gamer on a budget. Just $8.00 gets you Poker Smash PC, which will include all of the DLC from the XBLA version of the game. It will also include multiplayer support through Steam if the studio can get the game on there, which I would be surprised if it could not. For just $10.00, you not only get Poker Smash PC, you get early alpha access to Junction. Other tiers include key chains, shirts (which is the tier I backed) and even a chance to have Poker Smash Pizza Party at Drew’s house! (Hey, it’s an indie developer. They had to get creative with the high level tiers.)

Poker Smash is a fantastic game that could only benefit from a great PC port. For just a little money, you can help make it happen. Trust me when I say that it will be worth it.

You can back Poker Smash PC on its Kickstarter page.

Take a look at this Poker Smash trailer to see the game in action:

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