We’ll get this out of the way first: poker video games suck.
They are slow, teach very little actual poker strategy and ultimately become mind-numbingly boring after an orbit or two.
That said, Telltale’s Poker Night 2, which came out last year, is one of the best video games that’s been released in the last few years and actually worth playing.
Forget Full House Poker on Xbox or some terrible Facebook game, Poker Night 2 is the one you want.
Poker Night 2, which is actually a sequel to the awkwardly titled but also good Poker Night at the Inventory, does one thing that other games don’t come close to replicating: it focuses on the actual experience of playing poker with an entertaining group of characters.
Poker players are often asked who they would invite to their dream poker table and most pick celebrities, sports stars or politicians. While you won’t find real-world celebs in Poker Night 2, you will get to interact with some of the most famous stars of video game pop culture over the last decade.
Poker Night 2 is comprised of Brock Samson from the Venture Brothers TV show, Claptrap from Borderlands, Ash from Evil Deal 2 and comic book detective icons Sam and Max.
Portal’s GLaDOS makes a cameo as the stone-cold dealer.
Poker Night 2 is Great for New Poker Players
The highlight of the game isn’t necessarily the poker being played but the dialogue between characters. Every character has its own personality and they way they interact with each other can be priceless.
You’ll quickly notice that Ash is a maniac while Sam tends to be more on the conservative side.
It’s a formula that works very well and it would be nice to see a Poker Night 3 with another great mix of pop culture icons.
Beyond all that the poker is fine. It’s standard No-Limit Hold’em. If you have a friend who has never played poker it’s a great way to introduce him or her to the game. You can even play Pot-Limit Omaha.
One fantastic feature is that the game displays winning percentages when players are all-in, so you can actually learn some of the odds involved with poker.
The game has tons of content to unlock including custom tables, cards and costumes.
Poker Night 2 is currently down to $4.99 and available on Steam, iOS, PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.
Here's Telltale's teaser for the game: