I have spent many hours enjoying this game as I took over Texas towns one after the other through poker tournaments and cash games. I recommend this to anyone who wants a fun, casual card game with multiple features and decent replay value.
There is a lot to do in this game! You start by playing poker tournaments to earn money and buy up all the properties in each town. The games become larger and the stakes get higher as you move from town to town. Trains, riverboats, and automobiles can also be won in poker games so you can reach additional towns. You can also win a wide variety of awards for different achievements as a poker player. The "professional" difficulty option and quick games give decent replay value. The features in this one go a long way and will keep you coming back for more.
The poker game itself is easy to play and fun. The computer AI is pretty good and can surprise you from time to time, but I suspect that people who have experience playing real opponents would find the AI to be limited. Once you get into a rhythm with your strategy, the games will become more predictable.
It's nice that they have tournaments, cash games, and one on one games to give variety (you can even set up your own tournaments how you want), but the game is always Texas Hold 'em. There are no other varieties of poker. This game is probably best for people who want to learn poker or who just want a generally good casual game.
Graphics and Sound
The computer voices and announcers were pretty cool at first. It felt very realistic. As you continue to play, they will become repetitive. Fortunately, you have the option to mute the voices so it's not a problem. The music is not that varied, but it's decent and not annoying.
The animation is nice and the hats were colorful. The poker tables and other scenes look nice. I applaud their efforts to provide some variety to the scenery of the locations, such as larger towns later in the game, but nevertheless the towns and poker venues start to look pretty similar after a while.
I definitely got more than $20 worth of game play out of this, and I continue to enjoy it even after playing all the way through. You will always have a solid poker game ready to play whether you have only 10 minutes or several hours. It's best for casual gamers or those new to poker. I list a few cons below, but the pros far outweigh them. I'm happy I got this one.
- Many towns, vehicles, properties, and hats to acquire
- Increasing stakes and larger tournaments as you advance
- Quick games are available for when you only want to play for a few minutes
- You can speed up the play; eventually you will want faster games without the sounds
- Good, solid Texas Hold Em game
- It runs well on my 5 year old, non-Intel Mac
- Flash demo versions are online, so you can try those for more than an hour before you buy the full game
- There were a few minor typos not affecting game play
- The towns are all very similar; I wish they had more features that were unique to each town
- The computer opponents eventually become a little predictable, but they're pretty good for a computer game
- You don't make rent money from your properties while traveling
- I didn't experience much difference among the Notorious players; I guess they were supposed to have different playing styles but they seemed pretty similar to me
- I didn't really require or expect this, but multiplayer online capability would be an amazing option they could offer in the future.