|System: X360 (XBLA), PS3 (PSN), PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Wideload Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: D3 Publisher||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 13, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 2-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Of course, cheating isnt quite that simple. Adding another level of entertainment and complexity into the competition, youll have to successfully complete a random mini-game every time you use a naughty ability. These range from playing hi or lo, rolling dice, and blackjack to button-mash racing, roulette, and strength testing. When you or an opponent is cheating, a red sign flashes over the offenders character portrait. Theres no other indication of exactly what cheats are being used, and adversaries wont know whats trouble theyre possibly in until theyre being directly affected by it. In player vs. player cheats, both the attacker and the defender will engage in a mini-game duel the winner pulls off a successful attack or defense accordingly.
The single-player Career mode consists of four card circuits that are each made up of four challenge matches. Winning a certain number of matches in the first batch will unlock the second match and so forth. Objectives in each challenge tend to fall along a handful of different goals, including accruing a certain amount of money, beating a specific player, beating every player at the table, and accruing the largest amount of money in a specific number of hands. This provides enough options to facilitate some lengthy and challenging solo sessions, and playing against up to seven other players in brutal cheat-riddled online matches is equally entertaining.
Gameplay-wise, Texas Cheat Em delivers, but the overall visual presentation is lacking. Progressing through the Career mode will unlock various background settings to play in. Unfortunately, these static images dont really mesh with the game visuals, and they come off as looking rather cheap. When youre not playing against other humans, the character avatars are static and uninteresting. The table itself and cards are functional, if not overly snazzy-looking.
Texas Cheat Em freshens up the classic card game with ample shenanigans that should sit well with casual card players or more experienced poker hounds. Incessant cheating across the board makes each hand fast-paced, unpredictable, and constantly changing. Its easy to get drawn into multiple hands of this quirky and playful take on poker, even if the game is still pretty niche.
CCC Staff Contributor