Long before I owned an Android phone, I was rocking an iPod touch. Before you start getting out the torches and pitchforks, realize that this was a temporary lapse of judgement, and I’ve obviously come to see the error of my ways.
Anyway, the most treasured application I had on my previous device was Zynga poker. I fondly remember having the iPod on my desk hidden from plain sight, and would joyfully sneak in a hand or two of poker with the Zynga poker application while I was working on some Excel project or other.
Imagine my delight when Zynga was made available for Android back in December. But does the Android application live up to my high expectations from previous experience?
In order to play Zynga poker, you will need a Facebook account (fortunately, more than 500 million of you have one, and if you don’t, chances are you’ve stopped reading this after that last statement anyway). If for whatever reason you don’t have a facebook account, the Zynga app will take you to the Facebook page so that you can create an account to start playing. One of the major benefits of requiring a Facebook account is that your chip total follows you wherever you go, whether you’re playing on Android, iOS, webOS, or from your personal computer.
Assuming you’ve read this far into the review, I’ll assume you know what Texas Hold ‘Em is, so I won’t bore you with the actual “how to play Hold ‘Em” drudgery. Most of you simply want to know “Does Zynga get hold em’ right, and is it decent to play.” Fortunately, Zynga does indeed get the gameplay mechanics right (honestly, it’d be hard to screw up Hold ‘Em too bad), and everything in the application seems to work without a hitch, from the flow of the game itself to the way it matches players’ skill sets based on total chip count.
Since hold ‘em is a multiplayer game, you can play with up to 8 other opponents at a tablet, with higher stakes games available as you rack up more chips by winning at lower tables.
If you’re a poker addict like me, you probably have noticed by now that most poker applications currently on the market suffer from very basic and simplistic graphics and animations (though there are a few exceptions). The folks at Zynga very obviously put time and effort into graphic development, which makes the Zynga poker application head and shoulders above the competition when it comes to the graphical experience.
- Graphics are well done, far exceeding any other free application out there (and many paid ones too)
- Facebook connection allows for true multi-platform gameplay. You don’t lose your amassed chips when you play on a different platform.
- Though not necessarily a con, users who actively choose not to have a Facebook account can’t play Zynga poker.
- Difficult to view chats within the application; launching the chat window blocks the game, so you have to do one or the other. (Come on! I want to talk some smack!).
If you love hold ‘em, Zynga Poker is by far one of the best Hold ‘Em applications available today. Zynga poker is easy to pick up and play, the graphics are great, and it touts one of the (if not the) largest user bases for any hold ‘em game on Android. These traits make it a must-have if you love poker.
Zynga Poker is currently available on the Android Market for all 1.6+ devices (I hope to God that’s 95+% of you by now).