After three months of devoting all my 3DS time to Xenoblade Chronicles, I needed something a little lighter to play during my commutes, so I downloaded a thing called Governor of Poker for $5.
As you might have guessed, this is a Texas Hold-‘Em poker game. 99% of the gameplay consists of playing round after round after round of poker against computer opponents, which looks like this:
As you can see, it’s super ugly and generic-looking and just fucking screams MOBILE GAME. But I will say this: the 3D effects, though simplistic, are some of the best I’ve ever seen on the 3DS. Those cowboy hats really look like they’re a couple of feet higher than that poker table, and it’s beautiful. I swear, I would spend almost all my time in between hands poking them with my stylus in amazement. Believe it or don’t, asshole.
The structure of the game is that you are traveling around the state of Texas in Old West times, buying up real estate with your poker earnings. You play poker tournaments in individual towns…
…until you earn enough money to buy a ride to the next town…
…and the goal is to eventually buy up the entire state.
Those towns are walk-aroundable, but just stating that makes it seem way more interactive than it actually is. Basically, the towns just serve as a flashier menu system to get from poker game to poker game, with a handful of NPCs offering dumb advice like “A Jack is higher than a two!” or whatever. Please do not mistake this for an RPG-ish experience akin to Atlus’ Mario Golf games. If anything, it’s more like an even less interactive version of Vegas Stakes for the Super Nintendo. It’s pretty lazy and dull, but I guess it’s marginally more entertaining than straight-up text menus.
Anyway, what I mostly learned from this game is that I suck pretty badly at poker (as if real life hasn’t already taught me that time and time again). I lost way more games than I won, and this cost me a lot of time since losing all your money and getting a “Game Over” sets you ridiculously far back. So far back that it seems pretty unfair, in my opinion. Luckily, after a while, I figured out a loophole to get around this. When you purchase real estate, you start earning money on each piece of property, Monopoly-style, after each in-game day. Once you’ve bought up enough property, you can just spam the “GO TO NEXT DAY” button over and over again for a few minutes, and before you know it you’re a millionaire. It’s really stupid that this loophole – or the need for it – even exists in the game, but I sure as shit took advantage of it. This allowed me to continue playing poker games and taking chances without the constant thread of bankruptcy looming over me.
And so eventually, of course, I beat the game and became the Governor of Texas.
I love that I literally became the goddamn governor. I figured the title “Governor of Poker” was an honorary one, like the Governor in The Walking Dead or whatever. But nope – if you win enough poker games, you will eventually become the actual governor of the state of Texas without the need for any boring elections. Sounds about right to me!
As you can see, I have a lot of negative shit to say about this game, so I should counter that by telling you that by the time I finished it, I had racked up a staggering 70 hours of playtime. So, y’know, I did like it to some degree. Despite all the nonsense, this is a competent and user-friendly way to play single-player fake poker, and that’s basically all I was looking for from it. If you’re in the market for that kind of thing, you could definitely do worse than this. But maybe I am a little biased – after all, you are speaking to the best poker player the world has ever seen.
3D Sonic the Hedgehog