The Sword & Poker games are ancient by today's standard, but, man, we couldn't get enough of them back in 2010. We reviewed both the first and the second game three years ago, but here's the gist of the game(s)- Imagine a game dripping with RPG trimmings, but all of your battles are played on a grid of cards where you have to make poker hands in order to attack monsters and crawl through dungeons.

It's one of those games that sounds totally crazy, but sucks you in and quickly becomes impossible to put down. It's debatable whether the first or the second is the better of the two, but here's what I recommend you do: Download the lite version of either or both games immediately, give it five minutes. If it clicks to you, grab 'em both. The Sword & Poker games have had sort of a mysterious life on the App Store, randomly disappearing then re-appearing like some kind of creepy carnival.

Keep in mind, these are every bit games from 2010. This means no iPhone 5 widescreen graphics, no multitasking support, and hell, it doesn't even seem to have retina display assets. None of this makes Sword & Poker any less fun.

  • http://twitter.com/crunchewy Crunchewy

    I enjoyed the first one. I might pick up the 2nd but I wish it had retina graphics.

    • Bool Zero

      Or universal!

      • homosaur

        Because there would be SO MUCH MONEY in doing that for a nearly 3 year old game

  • http://twitter.com/AhiruDuck Ahiru Nakamura

    haven't checked it yet, but will it "update" our previous purchases from back then or do we have to buy it again??

    • http://twitter.com/AhiruDuck Ahiru Nakamura

      booyah it's the same! then again, no Game Center achievements :(

  • oooooomonkey

    I'd buy this if it had any updates, like retina or iPad or universal?? Something lol. As it is its an old game that looks old?

    • http://twitter.com/TomateDiseno Tomate Diseño

      Doesn't matter - I've graphics are secondary to gameplay - that's why classic games are classic, give me Fallout or Xcom over any of the turn based strategies on the appstore. This is a great game no matter how it looks.

  • generalkhaos

    This is kind of exciting for me, especially since after they removed them from the store the only way I could play was to scour the Internet for an ipa to install on my ipad :/

    Here's hoping they start updating it now, Or make a new one!!

  • InfectiousRed

    I hope they fixed the technical problems these games had.

  • http://twitter.com/TomateDiseno Tomate Diseño

    Best games I ever played on the iPod. Perfectly balanced, just enough grind to make for a challenge without becoming bored, great pickup/putdown gameplay, satisfying finish, flawlessly made.

    If all iOS games were as good as this I'd never be off the toilet.

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      Bah! That's a load of crap...!
      heh heh heh

  • Talaen

    While I loved both games and would like to play them again, they do not seem to take into consideration the fact that they were previously purchased. I'm going to try emailing the developers to see if they are willing to assist.

    I'm not willing to pay for them again.

    • Talaen

      Quick correction - my App Store must have been lagging somehow as this now DOES show I can renown load without repaying. All is well. :)

      • homosaur

        I've been having a lot of problems with this lately, I think Apple might be having auth server issues, however that works.

    • 1Fcm

      i didnt seem to have that issue. Downloaded just fine for me.

  • ElPumo

    I enjoyed both for the RPG aspect.

  • http://twitter.com/BenfromBoston Ben

    I loved both of these games. if you haven't played them, get them now. I wonder if we'll ever see a 3rd version. I think the dev went under.

    • Benegesserit

      Man how do you go under developing simple iphone games? It has little production value and the overhead for making mobile games is nothing compared to non-mobile unless you're making a AAA title like Real Racing. Both s&p games rated really well.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/4P3LYKST5PDEESQ6U3AVSN3BKI Magocracy

        Because even a relatively simple game like this will take a thousand hours of time to finish and/or require hiring help. If they don't make back their investment plus enough profit to be worth their while, devs will often give up and get a real job.

      • WeirdingWay

        I know plenty of indie developers who hold a real job and do this in their free time. Also I can't imagine that this developer didn't make enough. They were definitely one of the more popular titles at the time of their releases. My only guess is that the developer did something else in their personal life that caused them to no longer have time for this.

      • Richard Bergstrom

        We're also not talking about Angry Birds here. Perhaps the developers developed a lot of extra games that never got through (or got held up) during the App Store approval process. There's a great indie game company called Kairosoft that releases a new game with new gameplay/skins/graphics every month on the Android... but gets its iOS games through every three to four months.

  • TychoQuad

    Hate to break it to you Eli, but this is very old news, They returned to the App Store over a year ago.

    For those hoping for some kind of updates, forget it. They haven't seen a single one since their return.

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      Maybe the 'mysterious' aspect is that TA is covering old games, saying headlines & not delivering *ANY* info on the headline, and then ... not mentioning that they are crashy -- for some (I say that based on comments, never was my experience).

      • psac

        S&P 2 is not at all crashy.

  • Arwenshade

    Picked up the original S&P game, and it crashes constantly
    on my iPhone 4..
    I guess the games are not updated to run on newest iOS versions?

  • handhoney

    Easily 2 of my favorite iOS games ever. They really are brilliant.

  • allana

    Dont get the first. It crashes after finishing a floor. Te seond game plays fine so far.

  • koala brazil

    Both are crashing constantly unless They update the iOS dont buy them

  • DBGPoker

    I would like to say thank for the people who share this game with us because whenever i feel tired i start to play this game and forget all my pain and other bad memories of my life . So once again thanks.

    DBGPoker

  • justicegray

    They're gone again now.

    • Ikki

      I wish I had bought S&P2 when I had the chance.

    • ikki

      For some reason I can't reply to your other comment but I wanted to say thanks ! ;-)

      • justicegray

        LOL, for some reason my original comment is *gone*!! Anyway for anyone else looking at this, as of Nov 2013 they are in the App Store. Get them while you can!