Let the insanity begin — A review of Poker Night at the Inventory

Poker? That’s some card game like Magic the Gathering, right? Okay, I admit that I don’t really know very much about poker. I have absorbed the basics of the game through osmosis, but the intricacies of the specific variants are lost on me. You won’t see any information on the blind buttons or the flop statistics in this post, but you will get a good idea of how Poker Night at the Inventory is put together as a video game. Onward!

Telltale Games, a developer known for making high quality episodic adventure games out of beloved franchises, has put together four completely nutty characters from four completely nutty franchises into one game. Just seeing the roster of Max, Tycho, Strong Bad, and The Heavy was enough to get me to drop $5 on a poker game.

When you start a new tournament, you’re brought into The Inventory — a prohibition-era speakeasy for libations and gambling. If you’ve played with Telltale’s previous games, you’ll notice quite a few familiar faces hanging around in the building. Eventually you’ll end up at a table with the aforementioned cast of characters sitting in a circle. Everybody starts out with $10,000, as you all try to knock each other out of the game. Most interestingly, each of the characters are short the 10k from time to time, so they put up their prized possessions as their buy-in. If you’re successfully able to knock them out of the game, you get what they brought. If you’re also an owner of Valve’s Team Fortress 2, those items will now be available for you to use in-game. Cool, huh?

The biggest draw of the game is, hands-down, the dialogue. If you’ve ever wanted to hear a psychotic rabbity-thing spar verbally with a boxing glove-clad professional e-mail checker, now’s your chance. Faithful to each of the franchises from which they borrow, Telltale seamlessly created a world where misanthropes of all flavors can come together and gamble like the degenerates that they are. It is a huge success from that point of view. If you happen to like poker as well, you’ll be happier than a pig in shit. Poker + Insanity = Poker Night at the Inventory.

In sum, “Poker Night” is a very fun game for a bargain-bin price. You can grab it on Steam or at Telltale’s site. Either way, you’ll be pleased with the tomfoolery that ensues. I promise.

Grant is a writer from Delaware. In his spare time, Grant maintains a personal blog, hosts The Weekly Roar, hosts Quadcast, and writes for video games.