Friday, July 18, 2014

Swords & Poker Adventures General Strategy

iOS App Store link

An interesting puzzle game that uses poker hands. It was originally a paid app but Konami bought it over and the game is now free to play with energy system in place. The main gameplay revolves around a board of 9 playing cards and both players take turn putting a pair of cards at the opposite sides vertically, horizontally or diagonally to form a poker hand. You are only allowed to place cards if they form a poker hand and can choose to pass to redraw a new hand. Once the board gets filled, it opens up the possibility to get multiple combos if you can connect up multiple lines of poker hand.

With this design, there are only eight moves to be made each board thus there is very little variation in how each board will play out. Without taking spells into account which might affect the board, I think the general strategy will be just to go for the multiple poke hand combo slots each board by "abusing" the "pass" button as you are allowed to "pass" even if you have playable cards.

There are generally 2 ways the board can end:

1) All sides filled leaving the corners for the final 2 moves; there will only be 1 "combo slot" which is the final corner placement of the game. It is most probably always the right choice to pass if required to make sure you get that final corner as you can score multiple combos of it where the damage can get huge. Conversely, you also want to get the final corner to prevent the opponent from combo-ing on you.

2) Corners are filled early; there will be 2 "combo slots" which are the final slots of each side and they are worth up to 3 combos. Again, you will probably want to "pass" to ensure you get them as well as prevent opponents from taking them.

I personally always take the corners as soon as possible and try to setup for the 2 "combo slots" as leaving the final corner up(1st scenario) can be risky.

There are other kinds of play like taking away slots to prevent opponent from putting out a good hand and there is the possibility of getting to the combo slot but not having the right cards (a Joker wild card, which will turn any hand into a poker hand, can help a lot) but it will seem like going for the combo slots should work most of the time. (I didn't factor in the comparison between "combo slots" damage vs a good poker hand damage like full house though, so that might be something to be considered) I would imagine if this game has multiplayer, it might end up in a stalemate with both players passing to get that combo slot...