So, you like hot, anime girls and have a penchant for gambling? Well, Gameloft thinks they’ve got the game for you. Sexy Poker comes to WiiWare, ushering in M-rated games to the platform, but is the gameplay more than skin deep? We strip the title bare to show you its essentials.
What is the gist of Sexy Poker, you might ask? Well, the premise is simple, really. You play against a variety of sexy ladies in strip poker (or strip Blackjack). Each of you starts out with $300, but if you strip your opponent of her cash, she’ll bet an article of clothing for another stack of money. You’ll have to keep up a winning streak in order to relieve her of all her garments, and you win the event when she’s down to a bikini bathing suit.
Sounds like great fun, doesn’t it? Well, in reality the package includes but a mere two types of gameplay – Texas Hold’em poker and Blackjack – that’s it. For those not up on their gambling, Texas Hold’em is a seven-card game in which you’re given two cards and then share the remaining five with your opponent in order to each build up your own hands. Typical rules apply; a pair beats a high card, two pair beats a pair, three-of-kind beats two pair, and so on and so forth. Blackjack is also standard stuff – one card down, one card up, hit me ’til I make 21.
There are six anime girls to choose from, each unlocked after beating the previous opponent. Gameloft may be an American developer, but the girls here each have a distinct otaku appeal. Even their names are Japanese, and the poses are straight to the point.
When it comes to the actual gamplay, your options are about as barebones as it gets. You can select the card pattern for the backside of cards and whether or not to add rumble, but that’s about the extent of customization. It’s just you and whichever girl you’ve chosen to take on – no multiplayer whatsoever – and hands can be played out pretty quickly. Blackjack plays fine, but if your main goal is to disrobe your challenger – and we know it is – then you won’t be playing this game too often. The winnings are slim, which makes stripping your date down to her nitty-gritty incredibly tedious.
Poker is where the real money is at, though the girls you unlock later on are in no hurry to show you their skin. By the third or fourth girl, challenges become a long tug-of-war, and when you’ve only got one poker type to choose from, the experience grows stale quickly.
The card games are laid out in a fairly polished and straightforward way. Large buttons allow you to choose from various options, such as Call, Raise, Fold, etc., and you and your opponent’s stash is displayed on the top of the screen, along with the bets each of you place. The girls constantly egg you on, as well, with explicit innuendo, but we have to wonder how much real poker the makers of this game have actually played. The girls will declare a raise when no bet has been made, or continue to pad the pot, only to reveal nothing in their hand at the end of a round.
Still, the A.I. has a few recognizable patterns of play that, though not completely predictable, offer the illusion of showing off a weakness in their playing strategy. Some girls tend to bet heavy with weak hands, while others stay predominantly on the conservative side of things.
The game has a respectable presentation for a $5 WiiWare game, but that doesn’t necessarily make it good entertainment. The girls barely animate, only batting an eye or blushing, but that’s about it. The artwork is cute, and when some of the girls reveal a little skin, there are fleeting moments of sexuality. But the lack of animation and variety make this a laughably shallow package overall. You can go back into the options menu for a quick peek at the girls undressing after you’ve bested them in cards, but it’s nothing to get excited about.
As a matter of fact, if you’re expecting hentai or anything close to it, think again. The “M” rating for this game is obviously due to the amount of double entendres, as well as the overt nature of the poses the girls are in – but don’t make the mistake of purchasing this game for any type of adult entertainment. The cards are still the main attraction here, and that’s a tough sell when you’ve only got two games on tap.
The sound is equally competent, but again, it’s not going to sustain any type of enjoyment for the game. So far as we could discern, each of the six girls is voiced by the same actress, and the music is right out of a cheap, off-the-strip Las Vegas casino.
We love cards, we love poker, and you know what – we also love the ladies. However, you’re just not going to get any satisfaction from Sexy Poker. The girls aren’t easy, they aren’t sleazy, and the poker is boring. The visuals are lifeless, and the aural presentation is put forth with minimal effort. We fully understand that this is a $5 game, but it offers only about $0.25 worth of entertainment. Gameloft is dominating the WiiWare platform in terms of the number of games they’ve now made available for the system, but more isn’t always better. WiiWare deserves creativity and fun, and this game fails on both fronts.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 3.0 Graphics
It’s an attractive package, but the girls barely animate and there isn’t much variety. 3.5 Control
Controls are comprised of simply pointing at buttons onscreen and clicking. They work. 3.0 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Like the visual presentation, the sound and music are barebones but serviceable. 1.9
Blackjack and a single game of poker – that’s what you get for $5. The unlockables include two additional deck styles, as well as being able to freely view the ladies undressing, which you’ll have already seen while playing the game. If you’re looking for cards or hentai, you can find both online for free.
2.0 Overall Rating – Poor
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.