swordspokeradvLongtime TouchArcade readers likely know the rocky history of the Sword & Poker franchise, and it appears there's a new chapter to the tale. To recap, the original Sword & Poker [$2.99 / Free] launched way back in January of 2010, and was a fantastic hybrid of poker-style gameplay and RPG-like progression. It didn't take long but the following May a sequel was released appropriately titled Sword & Poker 2 [$3.99 / Free] which didn't drastically alter the formula but did offer some new levels and improvements for fans of the first game. Both were fantastic mobile games that had a fairly large following of fans, especially around our forums. However, in late 2010, both games mysteriously vanished from the App Store.

Both the staff at TouchArcade and many forum members emailed developer Gaia Co. to find out why the titles were removed, but never heard back. Then, just as mysteriously as they disappeared, both games returned to the App Store in February of 2011. Even more strange, at some point after this both Sword & Poker games ended up disappearing from the App Store again, and again there was no explanation as to why. Then, almost like clockwork, they resurfaced yet again in February of 2013. The worst part about this whole debacle is that despite disappearing and resurfacing multiple times, neither game has been updated since their original releases in 2010, so while the gameplay itself was still fantastic both games were sorely missing basic features like Retina graphics, Game Center, iPad support and 4-inch widescreen support.

Welp, the Sword & Poker saga continues, as Konami now owns the rights to the series and they've released a new version of the game called Swords & Poker Adventures. It appears to be soft-launched just in the Singapore App Store for now (let us know if you spot it in any other territories), and it appears that it's been soft-launched since sometime in April of this year. The good news: this is a modern take on Sword & Poker with all the features the original games have been missing for years, complete with the hefty production values you'd expect from a company like Konami. The bad news: Swords & Poker Adventures is a free to play game with timers.

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Now, before I start to sound too sour, Eli and myself actually had a chance to play this new version of the game at WWDC earlier this month. We met with the lead designer on the game, and our reaction could basically be summed up as 1)Super excited to see the rebirth of Sword & Poker, and 2)Super disappointed in how the free to play system was implemented. To their credit, Konami was very, very receptive to our feedback about the pay model, even jotting down several of our ideas on how to make it a more friendly system (for example, allowing the players to continue playing in some capacity even when the "energy" runs out or even an IAP that would remove the energy system altogether).

I'll be very anxious to see how the final version of Swords & Poker Adventures ends up. Hopefully this soft-launch period will give Konami a chance to take feedback into consideration and tweak the game accordingly. In fact, according to the App Store notes the game was just updated last week with tweaks to the monetization system, so I'm remaining optimistic. This definitely has the potential to be the definitive Sword & Poker experience. If you have a Singapore App Store account, you can download Swords & Poker Adventures with the link below, or jump into the forum thread for some discussion.

Singapore App Store Link: Swords & Poker Adventures, Free (Universal)

  • Amenbrother

    What is the deal with all of these timers in games now. I mean do they want us to play or not. How many gamers are actually like oh hey let me pay using real money to continue playing since I ran out of energy.....?

    • Kenan2000

      1 sentence=Fucking free to play shit.

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    • Aerach

      It is actually a mechanic designed to encourage addictive behaviours. Creates false rarity in your mind.

      • the_rebel14

        This. This is true.

      • Intendro

        So why wouldn't people just go play some other game that, like a game, lets them play it?!
        This timer nonsense hasn't died out? It's completely ridiculous...

      • Intendro

        And then we have freaking paid games with timers... Why would anyone buy something that... doesn't work?!

  • Tomate Diseño

    I loved the originals but for as long as this doesn't come with a decent "pay for it and play it" price tag I'm not even going to let it register a download.

  • ZarieoZ

    Well Konami seems to have a history of removing stuff & never updating. I seriously loved "Rooms" puzzle game, they removed it from the App Store, I still have it, but with no updates,it won't even open on ios7 :-( really wish they treat their games & players better.

  • BloodFidelity

    YES! I loved these games!

  • falco

    ITS SHIT!

  • vic_viper_001

    R.I.P. Sword & Poker...

  • worldcitizen1919

    Just downloaded it must be in the Australian store as well.

  • TrencH

    I really loved this game when the original and even the second one came out and was one of my first iphone games when I first got one. I just hope the timers don't kill this one because this would be one sweet game.

  • ElPumo

    Really enjoyed the first two. Here's hoping for the best...

  • midaru

    This is the best mobile game news I've heard in a long time! I never expected this to come back, but I'm unbelievably excited that it is. Now, hopefully they don't ruin it with the IAP/timer/energy. I would happily pay ~$4.99 for a fully playable version of this game.

  • Quazonk

    Oh great, another IP that I love, bent over and fucked dry by some garbage timer system bullshit. To sum it up: Sword & Poker 1 & 2 are some of my favourite iOS games of all time, and if this came out in Canada right now, I wouldn't even download it to try it.

    TIMERS RUIN GAMES. Have you learned NOTHING from grave injustices to gaming like Let's Golf 3, Real Racing 3, and a torrent of other games with all the potential in the world, ruined by crappy monetization schemes? Why is it always the third one they have to ruin? Anyways, release it for 5 bucks or keep it.

    • Billy Ocean

      man, lets golf 3 - that mention just cause a sharp pain in my frontal lobe. could have been such a cool game.

  • Squidhead

    I hate the new graphics. Just give me the original without the bugs and I'll happily pay 5 dollars too.

  • handhoney

    Sword and Poker was brilliant. When I read about the timers I had a sinking feeling in my gut.

    All we can do is wait and hope Konami doesn't anally violate this absolute gem of a game.

    /crosses fingers

    • Squidhead

      They destroyed it. :-(

      Such an awesome game too....

  • unexpect3rd

    I bought Sword & poker 2 when I got my first iDevice, and still have it in my current device. Though I never got around to completing the game, but I still love the game to death. I'm in Singapore, but doubt I'll want to try the new one out, because I have a fear for "energy bars" or "timers"

    • Stormourner

      it's good you still have the originals within your heart, I understand you fear energies and timers but you must face your fear

      • unexpect3rd

        all those years I spent on "the farm".... no more...

      • Stormourner

        eeepp!! it's the abomination D= *grab the flamethrower*

  • Gabriel.Voyager

    I've the original games installed on my old iphone 4 and never deleted, backup to backup are now on my iphone 5 and i will never delete them. Are the only games that i've always with me.

  • M M

    How incredibly disappointing. Like plants vs zombies 2...I will not be touching this free to play garbage.

  • FastShoes

    Well, I guess I'll be playing and finishing the next Sword & Poker game for absolutely free. Too bad for them as I would have easily paid $5 for another one.

  • vectorarchitekt

    Can someone clarify.....these two games still show on the App Store but the photos are blank. Everything else seems to be there, does that mean S&P 1 and 2 are still downloadable?

  • Patt

    I just bought sp2 yesterday. Before a new disappearance.

  • Gerardsoccer

    It looks like its also available in Australia too. Think I will give it a try...

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