Review: Poker Night at the Inventory 2 from Telltale Games

Review: Poker Night at the Inventory 2 from Telltale Games
3.5

Platforms:

Steam, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iPad (2 and up), iPhone (4 and up)

Game Name:

Poker Night 2

Publisher(s):

Telltale Games

Developer(s):

Telltale Games

Genre(s):

Casual, Sports

Release Date:

April 26th 2013

ESRB Rating:

M for Mature

Update May 22, 2013: Poker Night at the Inventory 2 is now also available on iOS! Follow links at the end of the article for purchasing information.

What We Think

Since Prohibition times, The Inventory has been a hangout for notorious bad-asses looking to engage in some high stakes poker. Poker Night 2 captures the latest tournament to take place within the legendary secret club.

Great prizes await for those willing to lose a few hands along the way. Sadly, the chit-chat dries up a little too quickly; while the lines delivered between contestants are nothing shy of gut-bustingly funny, you’d think that such nefarious blokes would have more to say.

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Good luck keeping your poker face against this rabble.

Luck Be A (Psychotic Robotic) Lady Toniiiight….

As in Telltale Games’ previous outing, The Inventory has become the setting of another epic mash-up of franchises. Brock Samson (Venture Brothers), Claptrap (Borderlands, Borderlands 2), Ash Williams (Numerous Evil Dead titles) and Sam (Sam and Max) have all ponied up the entry cash for a winner takes all tournament. As if the level of fan service wasn’t already off the charts, Poker Night 2 has included GlaDOS (Portal, Portal 2) as the dealer.

The standard poker conventions apply: If you’re playing Texas Hold ‘Em, players are dealt two cards, and the player with the strongest hand comprised of his hand and three cards from the house hand wins the pot. Poker Night 2 also allows Omaha style poker, in which the player is dealt four cards. Two of the player’s cards are combined with three from the house to make the best hand.

Bet according to the strength of your hand, or, if you’re bold enough, do your best to bluff your opponents should you find yourself with a hand full of garbage. Once a contestant is eliminated, he leaves the table. There can be only one winner, and he’s walking away with all the cash.

poker night 2 screenshot C
Go Team Venture! Purchase in-game content with tokens. Or buy drinks to “loosen up” opponents.

Telltale Sweetens the Pot

If an all-or-nothing game of poker against some of pop-culture’s zaniest heroes isn’t enough to send you running to the nearest ATM, fear not; Poker Night 2 comes packed with unlockable extras, several of which open up cross-game bonuses.

Tokens earned by winning (and losing) tournaments can unlock new table felts, card decks and room layouts. They can also be spent on drinks for your opponents. Beverages have a habit of loosening up resolve, making it more likely that the drinker will reveal his “tell”.

Once a tournament is won by the player, the next round will start with a bonus: One of the other gamblers will be required to offer up a special item to whichever player can defeat him. Claiming of these items will open up various extras, depending on the platform the player is using. Team Fortress 2 character skins are available for Steam players, Avatar items for Xbox 360 users, and custom themes for lucky PSN enthusiasts. Borderlands 2 skins are up for grabs for all platforms, as well.

poker night 2 screenshot A
Brock frickin’ Samson. It’s never good when he gets that look on his face.

So this Dog Detective Walks into the Monarch’s Lair, Which is Hovering Over Pandora…

As the hands are played, the characters banter back and forth, asking questions of one another with hilarious results. Telltale has once again done a bang-up job of concocting the kind of dialogue one might envision emerging from such a highly unlikely cross-over. The quips will also change depending on how many characters are left at the table.

Regrettably, even by adding GlaDOS as an additional character, the chatter starts to repeat early on. There will still be new discussions associated with each unlocked backdrop, but the general discourse starts looping as early as an hour and a half into playing the game.

Hit the Deck!

For the price of admission, Poker Night 2 packs a solid poker game wrapped in an amusing unlikely side-scenario. The bonus materials offer ample rewards for those eager to claim some unique rewards. Though the gags run dry far too soon, they are side-splitting hilarity the first time they are heard.

Get Poker Night 2 on Steam

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Adam Fimio

AKA Callabrantus [Toronto, Canada] has been an avid gamer since playing his first arcade game when he was two years old. Years later, he still dives into games on a daily basis hoping to recreate the high from that first hit.

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