Poker Night at the Winventory

Poker Night at the Inventory

New from Telltale Games is the point-and-click-action-adventure-first-person-RPG Poker Night at the Inventory. OK, so it’s really just a game of Texas Hold’em at its core, but who said there was anything wrong with that? Besides a bit of

Vegas style gambling, The Inventory boasts a cavalcade (four) of popular characters from the internet and your childhood: Strongbad, The Heavy, the snarky Penny-Arcade guy, and some kinda hyperkinetic rabbity thing. The four characters, along with yourself, come together for a night of raucous illegal gambling.

Kanye wishes he could look this cool

Gameplay wise, The Inventory is very simple. Click, bet, mortgage house, etc. Probably as good a poker playing experience as you could find on the internet. The real gold is in playing a game with the four characters, which often results in hilarious levity (Protip: Turn conversation to “The Gift of Gab” for best results). And as far as the actual poker playing goes, it is fairly well done. Each character has their own playing style and strategy, and a bit of dramatic music and facial expression goes a long way toward convincing the player that they are actually playing with The Heavy. And it doesn’t hurt that you can win a freelance police badge, among other things, from the characters, which which all translate to TF2 items.

As for graphics, The Inventory is incredibly nice looking, as much as a back room poker bar can be, anyway. The funniest part is that each of the other four are brought in with their native animation style. This is something possiblylost on those who haven’t played Strong Bad’s game for Cool and Attractive people but seeing vintage heavy sitting next to cel-shaded Tycho is pretty cool, especially if you start think about what had to go into making that happen.

I'm pretty sure that's the announcer.

So, what’s the incentive to actually play? Besides learning how to play poker and winning imaginary cash, you can unlock various tables and card sets. So far, my favorite combination is the TF2 set and the Automata table. Scout’s mom as the queen and a black and white filter is such a classy mix.

Otherwise, the only problem I have with The Inventory falls squarely on Tycho. Snarky MTG references are cool and all, but after the 20th time they get a bit overdone. It’s not that I don’t think his rant on how voluptuous giraffe necks are isn’t incredibly creepy (I do) but hearing the same thing repeated ad nauseum makes it lose a bit of its flair. Oddly, only with Tycho do I find this problem. The other three have yet to run out of funny/suggestive/creepy lines and dialogue. Yet.

That being said, if you have never before had the experience of playing a Telltale Games game before, then this is an opportunity that you should not let pass you by, and for 5 bucks why not buy two and give one away as a Christmas gift.

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