Dead Man’s Draw by Stardock – Finally, a card game that isn’t poker
I’ve been a long time fan of Stardock, more specifically for their addons to Windows such as Windowblinds, CursorFX and ObjectDock. But apart from customizing Windows, Stardock has a long history of making games – Galactic Civilization, Sins of a Solar Empire and Fallen Enchantress. But the mobile space hasn’t been their focus, until now.
Stardock kicks off their mobile catalog with an interesting game called, Dead Man’s Draw. Now, despite what it may sound like, this isn’t a poker game. And that’s not a bad thing. The App Store is clogged with hundreds of variations of Texas Hold Em and Celebrity Poker. And while some of them aren’t too bad, enough is enough. Texas Hold Em has been done to DEATH! Whatever happened to Draw Poker?
Anyway, Dead Man’s Draw is insanely simply. At least to start. The object is to draw as many cards as you like. Your score is based on the total mount of the cards showing, so a 3, 5, and 7 would equal 15. Easy enough. There are no runs or flushes or straights. You’re just counting, sort of like BlackJack. The problem is, you can’t have two cards of the same suit. Since this isn’t a standard deck, there are 7 suits in the pack. Regardless of the number on the card, if they have the same suit, you’re busted and don’t score any points. The game continues until all the cards in the deck are drawn. Highest score wins. There are 50 cards in the deck.
But once you win a round, you’ll discover the cards begin to take on some magical properties. For example, the Canon can remove a card from your opponents deck. The Oracle let’s you see the next card before you draw it. The Sword allows you to steal a card from you opponent and use it in your own hand. Plus, as the game progresses, cards in a hand can be combined for a bigger bonus, such as a chest and a key.
So it starts off simple, but then you have to think about how you want to play these special ability cards. Should you steal that opponent card then draw another or quit while you’re ahead? How many cards do you think you can grab without busting out?
It’s a very straightforward game, but it’s something refreshingly different. As I said, finally a card game that isn’t just another mindless variation of Texas Hold Em. Plus, the game goes quickly. There’s no betting or bluffing. You draw cards until the deck is gone and total the points. It’s easy to invest a few minutes or sit down and trying build up a chest full of gold.
It’s quite a satisfying game and it’s quite a bit of fun just to see how far you can push your luck. The special ability cards make for some interesting strategy. You can steal and Oracle and what lies in the pile next or rummage through the discard pile to see which card you can use to improve your score. The graphics are nice and the music is simple and won’t annoy you. I have to say for their first outing into the realm of the mobile devices and the iPad, this is a pretty sweet little game. I quite enjoy it. The only thing I don’t like is that they employed the in-app purchase idea. I just don’t like that as a matter of principle, not that it affects the game in any way.
Well done Stardock! I can’t wait to see what you have next and what add-ons this game might yield.
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