Have you ever found yourself sitting around, with roughly ninety seconds on hand, and suddenly felt an all consuming urge to play as much poker as you possibly could within the time allotted? While I can’t personally say that I’ve ever found myself in such a scenario, the folks over at Quarry Partners obviously must have as evidenced by their recent debut of Ninety Second Poker (out now, free). The game presents you with a 5×6 grid of playing cards, and then challenges you to see just how many successful — and preferably high scoring — poker hands you can make within the given time limit.

screen322x572 (1)The controls here are about as easy as one could possibly hope for, with players drawing their finger across the screen in order to link five adjacent — and hopefully profitable — cards together. To do this you’re allow to hit adjacent cards in any of the four cardinal directions, and your line is even allowed to double back on itself (but doing this won’t deselect cards, the only way to cancel out your hand is let go before the fifth cards is set). Once the fifth card is selected you’ll be awarded points based on how good of a poker hand you’ve put together, yet your score will be penalized if you manage to select an entire set of five cards without at least having a two-pair to show for yourself.

Now here’s where things probably get slightly odd from what you were likely expecting, as the gaps left behind by your eliminated poker hand won’t be immediately filled in. Whereas most other speed-based puzzle games of this sort would have all the cards fall down a row, followed by new cards coming in from the top, here the holes left behind will just sit there. To fill in these gaps you’ll have to hit the deal button at the screen’s bottom, which will add the five cards currently displayed to your active playing field (but you won’t know where each of the five cards will end up until after you hit the button).

Occasionally this’ll add sparkling cards to the playing field, and successfully using them as part of a hand — so long as they’re one of the relevant cards — will multiply the points you earn for that round. You might also occasionally find an all powerful joker tossed into the mix, and these cards will — whenever you use them in a hand — automatically become whichever card would give you the best results. Still — no matter what shows up — you won’t want to spend too much pondering your options, seeing as how — much like the app’s title suggests — the entire affair will be over after just ninety seconds.

screen322x572 (2)Realistically at this point you might imagine how I could simply say that Ninety Second Poker is basically lather-rinse-repeat, and you’d actually be quite right with that assumption. This might make for a fairly simplistic affair, but I guess you shouldn’t expect too much from a game being offered for absolutely free — containing no IAPs whatsoever — and not containing a single ad either. For an app that’s basically being offered up on a silver platter — with no strings attached — by the developers over at Quarry Partners, there’s certainly not much worthy of complaining about in Ninety Second Poker.

That said — all things considered — I do have a complaint all the same, or at the very least a future game play feature suggestion (it all depends on how you choose to look at things). That would be that Quarry Partners should really consider adding a secondary game mode where the cards really do drop down from the top as you keep on forming hands, as that would really add a lot of potential strategy to the game. For example: right now there’s nothing you can do if you have everything required for a Royal Flush, yet one of the cards is placed permanently out of reach from the others (this would remedy that).

Either way, there’s pretty much no reason whatsoever — so long as you’re not violently against the concept of quickly forming as many poker hands as humanly possible — to not give Ninety Second Poker a trial run at the very least.

Verdict

Ninety Second Poker is a game where — much as the name suggests — you’re challenged with forming as many poker hands as humanly possible, all within a period of just ninety seconds. Although the game might be lacking in the way of alternate game modes, this is counterbalanced by the fact that Quarry Partner’s package is offered for free — has no IAPs — and never displays any in-game ads either. As such there’s little reason to not try it out, unless — perhaps — you have something intensely personal against games that ask you to quickly form as many poker hands as possible within just ninety seconds.

'Ninety Second Poker' Review: Flash meets Flush!
Endless speed-based poker hand forming actionAbsolutely free
Could certainly use more game play modes
3.5Overall Score