by Matt Dunn
The Motion-X dice engine is hands down the best on the iPhone. The free app came out originally to demonstrate the engine, and works very well. It was only a matter of time before the devs turned it into game. They have done so in both Motion-X Poker, and Motion-X Poker Quest.
This review is going to be for both Motion-X Poker Quest, but it’s basically also for Motion-X Poker. Why? Because of these games are virtually identical, save for Poker being an Asian theme, and Quest being an Egyptian theme. I suppose that Poker Quest, being the later release, does look better with it’s fancy map and transitions between “temples” (tables), but as far as gameplay is concerned, they’re virtually the same. I’ll generally be referring to both games when I refer to Poker Quest, but the final scores will reflect Poker Quest only.
Gameplay in Poker Quest is simple, and completely addicting. Since dice only have 6 sides, the cards represented on the sides are nines, tens, Jack, Queen, King, and the Ace. You have three rolls to achieve the highest poker hand possible. You can hold on to any number of dice each round, and at the end you take home both the winnings from the buy in, along with any bonuses you can get.
This leads into one of best features of this game, which is the achievements. There are 20 total, and all seem fairly achieveable. A lot of them tie directly into the bonuses. For instance, if you lose a certain amount of games, and then win one, you get a “comeback bonus”, and get an achievement for this. Achievements are done in most games, but in both of these they are impemented very well. After playing for several hours, I’m currently at 13 out of 20, with several I’m currently working on.
Another good feature of Poker Quest is the rediculous amount of dice you unlock during the game. Not that they have any effect on gameplay, but they’re just cool! If I counted right, there’s a ridiculous 52 different sets of dice in Poker Quest, and 42 in Motion-X Poker. The maddening thing is that there is an achievement for getting a bonus with every set of dice! I would recommend using a new pair of dice and getting a bonus whenever you unlock them, since you have the ability to automatically switch.
Speaking of dice, the game keeps track of all your stats for all games, and actually tells you when a pair of dice is your luckiest yet! It also tells you when you’ve set a new record for wins in a row, and other stats. It’s nice to see the win percentages, and for those supersticious folks out there, to know what dice are the “best.”
The main problem with Poker Quest is a rather glaring question it will bring to the player: “Where’s the quest!?” Unlike Puzzle Quest, or other “quest” games, there is no storyline at all, and thus, no effect on any gameplay. As you gain more credits from winning, you can advance to new temples, that contain slightly varied designs, and more importantly, higher stakes. Although there are a lot of these, and this game will get tons of gameplay out of you if you want to make it to the end, there’s no driving story to make tossing dice matter. Luckily
Presentation & Graphics
Incredibly good dice physics and graphics. Presentation is very polished, with nice artwork for the dice and temples.
Excellent music, excellent sound. Impressive for a simple game like this.
Addicting. It’s a lot of fun to shake the dice up, but I’m very glad there’s a “roll” button if I don’t want to look like a tard in public! It’s a lot of fun, but can become pretty tedious when trying to reach the crazy goals of later temples to unlock them. No quest. Eh?
Aside from being a fun game, there are several reasons to keep playing. Whether it’s unlocking all the cool dice sets, and gaining all the achievements, it’s a game that you can whittle away in your spare time… or that will in turn whittle away your time! If you want to get to the end temple, you will be playing this game for a REALLY long time. Since both Poker and Poker Quest are fairly priced at $2.99 each, there’s not any reason not to pick up one of them.
Motion-X has a winner in Poker Quest. They took an excellent dice engine, and built a slick and solid game around it. It’s the perfect game to pick up and play for minutes at a time while you’re on the go, but it’s engaging enough to sit down and play as well. It looks great, sounds great, and will keep you entertained for a very long time.