Poker Night at the Inventory
|Developer: Telltale Games
Voices: William Kasten (Max)
Engine: Telltale Tool
Platforms: Windows, Mac
Release: November 22, 2010
Genre: Card game
Prepare for a different kind of poker night in a very different kind of club. In Poker Night at the Inventory, you’ll deal with Penny Arcade’s clever, cunning Tycho, Team Fortress 2’s hulking Heavy, Homestar Runner’s self-proclaimed “awesome icon” Strong Bad and the hyperkinetic “rabbity-thing” from Sam & Max.
The game was first teased in August 2010, where a trailer showed silhouettes of Max, the Heavy (from Team Fortress 2), Strongbad (from Homestar Runner) and Tycho (from Penny Arcade). Early September saw the announcement that they would all star in Poker Night at the Inventory, the second card game from developer Telltale Games. As Tycho had never been voiced before it was up to Kid Beyond to take up that role. William Kasten returned as Max, as did Mark Chapman for Strongbad and Gary Schwartz for the Heavy.
The draw to the game was being able to sit down round a table and hear all these different characters interact with one another. You take the role of the fifth and faceless player, listening in to these guys exchanging stories, jokes and insults. At one point it was stated that the game had three times the amount of dialogue of a Sam & Max episode.
As you won games of poker you would unlock various things, like different deck designs. One of the biggest draws for a lot of people was unlockable TF2 items. This was the first time that such a promotion had been done. Things like Max’s gun and badge could be won in Poker Night and then usable on your character in TF2. A lot of people ended up buying the game just for these items.
Destructoid – On one hand, the game has energy provided from the fun conversations taking place at the table. And you definitely get more than $5 worth out of that alone. What kills Telltale’s latest game is that, really, there’s not enough diversity to keep people coming back … at least not for more than a game or two when you’re bored and have nothing else to do. Enjoy the banter between the characters … but just remember one thing: it’s a $5 single-player Texas Hold ‘Em poker game. Don’t expect anything much more than that.
IGN – Over time the funny dialogue will start to lose its charm as it repeats, but you can limit it or turn it off completely after you’ve heard all there is to hear over the course of a few hours. It’d be easy to feel disappointed by how short a time it takes to hear all the jokes, but the reality is that this is a small, five dollar download. It comes with all the polish I’d expect from Telltale, and while it only features Texas Hold ‘em, is a really entertaining way to kill some time. It may not be the best poker game out there, but it is definitely the funniest.
International House of Mojo – The main attraction is getting to interact with four famous characters as they interact with each other for the first time, playing a hand of poker with the player (YOU!) … Max and the Heavy in particular are hilarious and consistently fun … The game itself is solid, even if the hands get occasionally predictable and the comments begin to repeat … I do know missed opportunities when I see them. Poker Night At The Inventory has several that hold it back from greatness.