Game Review

Ante Up: Texas Hold'em Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Sometimes less is more

Since we've already seen a host of Texas Hold'em games released on the WiiWare and DSiWare services, it would be quite easy to dismiss this fourth entry, Ante Up: Texas Hold'em, as just another attempt to cash in on the game's popularity. But even with the game's minimalistic visual approach, it's difficult not to be impressed with the playability and ease-of-use the game brings to the table, not to mention a fairly affordable price tag.

There are three basic modes of play in Ante Up: Texas Hold'em. Trial Mode is the meat of the package and the one most players will spend their time on as a single-player experience. In this mode you'll be able to enter various tournaments, at least if you have enough chips, and play your way through the ranks of the CPU-controlled opponents. If you're looking for a quick game, you can tackle the game's Free Mode where you can just jump into a quick game without going through the various tournament requirements.

Of course no Texas Hold'em game would be complete without a multiplayer feature and the DS Wireless Play mode can handle up to eight players with ease using the DSi system's wireless capabilities. It would have been nice to have a Download Play feature, but given the game's relatively low price tag, it shouldn't break the bank to have your friends or family purchase the title for themselves. Putting together a game requires little more than creating a game room for others to join in or jumping into one of the other player's rooms, so you won't have to swim through a barrage of menus and options to get into the game itself.

Controlling the game is a very intuitive affair thanks in part to the game's extremely well thought-out interface, with all the information you need organised perfectly on the top and bottom screens. You'll always know where you and the opponents stand in terms of chip count and the game will also display the best hand you currently hold. It even allows you to use the standard button controls or use the DSi touchscreen interface, depending on your personal tastes. So many card game developers try to do too much when putting together the controls and interfaces of their games, so it's nice to see a developer find a happy medium that really works.

The visual presentation might come off as rather bland and basic for some gamers looking for a bit more flash, but in many ways the less cluttered interface works wonders with keeping the important information always visible to you. The jazzy lounge music tracks are rather interesting the first time you hear each of them, but over time they can become a bit grating. Luckily you can turn the background music and sound effects down or even completely off if you so choose, a nice feature for those who plan to spend a lot of time playing the game.


Ante Up: Texas Hold'em forgoes a lot of flashy features and instead focuses more on giving gamers a smooth and playable poker experience that's as easy to play as it is fun. The layout and presentation gives you all of the information you'll need to be successful at the game and being able to bring together as many as eight players in total makes it the perfect game to enjoy with your friends and family. It might not be the flashiest of the Texas Hold'em releases, but it's hands down the best executed one of the bunch.

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User Comments (10)



zionich said:

Might have to grab it when im done playing the crack that is MHFU on PsP.



yodude said:

Excellent, easily an 800 point release. This is slick, fast and beautiful, while it won't de-thrown Boxlife as my fav DSi game, it sure comes close. Great job Dev. team.



Supremeist said:

I love Texas Hold Em, thinking of getting this or just waiting for a different version.



slidecage said:

wow i have to totally disagree with this review after winning this game There are no touraments at all in this game (at least what a tourament to me means )

it says the game has touraments in it.. THere is no touraments in this game

THere are 10 stages each stage you play 10 hands whoever has the most coins at the end of those 10 hands wins that stage. That is right after 10 hands that stage just ends if you in you can then move onto the next stage .. the game is buggy as well.. in the rules it says the goals of each stage will be listed when in fact none of the goals are listed . THe game is very short (went though all 10 stages in less then 30 mins) the AI is very stupid going all in on high card yet no betting when they got full houses

on the plus side the game does move fast no lag... i would love to see this company come out with a full cart verison of this game with REAL touraments but how it stands right now major disappointed and i would felt totally ripped if i paid 500 for this. the review makes it seem like there is Real touraments in this game .. i have never been in a poker tourament where its game over after 10 hands

i would give the game a 2 out of 10 maybe people would find it better for mulit player mode but for single player mode the game just was very bad

game moved fast but lack of gameplay really ruinned the game for me.. shhould of knew it was short when it said it only took 19 blocks

I can see good stuff in the game its just they need to add MORE TO it..
ITs a very good start but its Very very short fingers crossed they make a part 2 to this but THIS TIME add Real touraments to the game and make the AI Smart
sadly still looking for a good poker ds game

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