Swipe The Deck, a poker-based matching game with asynchronous multiplayer, has been developed by Enders Fund, published by Chillingo, and is now available from the app store. You’ll need fast eyes and even faster fingers to perform well in this timed matching exercise.
Swipe The Deck Pros:
- Clean graphics and fun casino-type sound effects
- Line-drawing mechanics work well enough
- Asynchronous multiplayer for challenging friends
- GameCenter integration provides achievement system
Swipe The Deck Cons:
- Not all that enthralling
- Purchasable powers significantly alter the multiplayer experience
Swipe The Deck pits you against an opponent to see who can earn more money by matching the best poker hands available. You engage in 3 rounds of frantic 2-minute play, dragging your finger across a large layout to make legal poker hands. Two pairs and three-of-a-kind will net you a tidy sum, but full houses and straight flushes will certainly put you into the realm of elite players. Oddly, you can only match the scoring portions of hands to complete a legal move. Connecting five cards (the normal amount in a legal poker hand) that include at least one extraneous card will not be counted. If you want to score three-of-a-kind, you’ll need to connect only those three and ensure that they are all adjacent to each other (vertically, horizontally, diagonally, or some combination of those three). It can often be difficult to spot a great move, leading us to focus on flushes for a simple to spot, mid-ranging score. A hint feature highlights one card that can be used in a viable scoring hand, but it doesn’t indicate which type of hand or which other cards to connect, so it’s fairly useless. Eliminated cards disappear and drop columns down a notch to set up better scoring opportunities. There are a number of purchasable power-ups to use (multipliers, wild cards, extra time), though we feel this ruins the multiplayer experience by giving players willing to fork over extra cash a considerable advantage over those who don’t. If you don’t, you can still earn the necessary currency to purchase upgrades, but at a much slower rate. Multiplayer matchmaking is set up via Facebook friends, GameCenter friends, or random opponents. As it is asynchronous, it can take a while to complete a game between two people. There is a single player option that allows you to compete against your own best score.
Graphically, Swipe The Deck has a clean look, with a 7×6 grid of easily distinguishable card faces adorning most of the screen. A bar above the grid shows the hand that you are connecting, while the screen top contains the countdown timer, your current cash total, and any equipped powers. As you drag your finger over cards, they change color to indicate their inclusion in the current selection. There isn’t really a soundtrack, but a fair number of casino-type sound effects to enjoy. Controls strictly use line-drawing mechanics, which work well for the most part. We did come across the occasional need to redraw a line or the infrequent annoyance of not registering the last card touched, though this could just as easily be chalked up to operator error. Replay value is good if you find the multiplayer enjoyable or you are a junkie for card-based games. Otherwise, the whole experience can get old quickly. GameCenter offers achievements to earn, as well. A universal app for FREE, Swipe The Deck manages a 3-Dimple score.