Back in January of last year, developer Gaia released a unique game into the App Store called Sword & Poker [$2.99/Lite]. Similar to how games like Puzzle Quest 2 [$4.99] or Dungeon Raid [$2.99] wrapped a simple match 3 mechanic around an engaging RPG system, Sword & Poker is build around making poker hands from a 5×5 grid of cards and fleshes out the experience with all the usual RPG trappings of leveling up and upgrading equipment. It’s a formula that we really enjoyed when we reviewed the game upon release, and the sequel Sword & Poker 2 [$3.99/Lite] offered even more of this satisfying gameplay when it released several months later.
Then, for whatever reason, both Sword & Poker games and accompanying lite versions disappeared from the App Store late last year. Even more puzzling is that the titles still appeared in the App Store but if you actually tried to download any of them you were met with a message that they were no longer available. I had since emailed Gaia, as did many members in our forums, to see if I could find out what the deal was. Unfortunately none of us ever received a response.
While we still don’t know the reason for their absence, Sword & Poker, Sword & Poker 2, and both lite versions have since become available for download once again. I can’t say for sure if something like this will ever happen again, so I would suggest that if you’ve had interest in any of these titles you should waste no time picking them up just in case. At the very least give the lite versions a try, as both Sword & Poker titles offer a fun and unique experience that shouldn’t be missed, and it’s great to see them finally return to the App Store.