iTunes Store link
MotionX Poker is a simple poker game, a bit like a casino video poker game. The gimmick is that instead of pressing buttons to deal cards, you shake your iPhone/iPod Touch (from here on out, just "iPhone") to roll dice, the faces of which are the poker cards. You can shake the dice as long as you want (and the dice bounce about on the screen as you do). It's a gimmick, but it works well and is kind of fun.
Since these are 6-sided dice, that implies, and it's true, that there are only 6 cards: 9, 10, J, Q, K, A. Each "hand" consists of 3 rolls of 5 dice. After a roll the house rolls, and then you can roll again. If you want to keep any dice you tap them to move them to your bar. You can move them back out of the bar by tapping them there. After three rolls your hand is compared to the houses hand, and the winner decided.
The bet is a fixed amount at the start of each hand, the amount of which depends on what table you play at. Initially there is a "free" table where you can play without betting and a 1 coin table. You unlock higher stakes tables by getting certain numbers of coins. Unlocking the next table, for example, requires you to attain a bankroll of 200 coins. At that table (which has a different graphical theme), the fixed bet is 10 coins. If you beat the house you get double your bet. In addition there are different kinds of bonuses that can be rewarded. For example winning with a straight gets you additional coins, winning 3 times in a row, 4 times in a row, etc. There are other bonuses as well.
That's the basic game. If you have even a basic knowledge of poker strategy you really can't lose in the long run, as the odds are stacked in your favor (quite unlike a casino!): each time you win a hand you get double your bet, plus there are bonuses to be rewarded. As long as you don't make too many egregious mistakes, you will win more coins then you spend. It is very simple, but is, one has to admit, a very addicting game to play.
One of the things that keeps you playing are all the unlockables. Initially there a few sets of dice to choose from (all have different themed graphics, and all look fantastic). Each time you win with 5 of a kind you unlock a new set of dice. There are 39 different dice sets to unlock/play with. There are also "gems" to unlock, which are based on achieving certain goals. For instance, one gem is unlocked when you win a hand without re-rolling any dice. Another is rewarded once you have won with every possible 5-of-a-kind hand. Etc. Winning a "gem" isn't nearly as fun as winning a new set of dice to play with. All the gem does is sit there. Oh well.
The game keeps detailed statistics and will announce during play things such as if the dice set you are currently playing with has become your "luckiest" set (the one you've won more often with.) It's all silliness, of course, but it is fun anyway. Some of the stats you can view are: number of days played, time played, hands played, win rate (percent), stats for each possible hand (number of times you've gotten it, and percentage of times you've won when you've had that hand), count of "profitable days", luckiest dice (and it's win percentage), last session stats, longest session and stats, best session and stats, longest winning streak, longest losing streak, etc.
The graphics and animation in the game are very good. Each dice set is detailed and has a unique theme. The animation of the dice rolling is great. Sometimes you can, as with real dice, end up with one die tipped up against another, and you need to shake it loose. Sound effects are pretty simple, but realistic enough. There is music, and it is fine, although it only plays during the options, stats and such screens - it doesn't play when you are playing hands. Like many iPhone games, unfortunately, if you are playing your own music on your iPhone, when you start up MotionX Poker, it fades out and stops that music. I found that it is possible to then restart your music by bringing up the music controller via double-click of the home button, however if you play your own music this way the game does not produce any sound effects. Hopefully a future update will allow for playing your music (without stopping it) and with the games sound effects intact.
The only options in the game (aside from choosing which dice set to play with and which table to play at) are to turn sound effects on or off and music on or off, and to reset all data.
This is the kind of game that you can find yourself playing for hours, but you'll occasionally ask yourself, "what the hell am I doing?". Then you click "Play Hand" again.... There is a mental challenge since it is poker, but mostly it's just a time killer. A good one. I do recommend the game and think it is worth the $4.99 asking price.
Update: I should have said that there are also dice with only numbers, like regular dice, in which case the "cards" are the numbers 1-6. Similar to Dizzy Bee, this game does not have a volume control. If the sounds are too loud for you, or too quiet, you're stuck, except that you can turn the sounds and music off, as noted.
Edited by crunchewy, 23 July 2008 - 05:45 PM.
Added another screenshot