Texas Cheat 'Em Review
Texas Cheat 'Em is one of those games that sounds like a potentially good idea, but that just doesn't live up to its promise. The idea in this case is a poker game in which all of the players are given the opportunity to cheat, which conjures up visions of wide-open, fast-paced, anything-goes poker but instead delivers a painfully slow card game interjected with lame and repetitive mini games.
The first indication that something is not quite right with the game is its graphics and presentation. Free, Flash-based card games on the Internet look better than this game. A circle in the middle of the screen represents the card table, players are represented by little gamer pics, and the cards are pretty basic looking and tiny. About a quarter of the screen is devoted to a giant thermometer-style meter that shows the type of hand you're holding and its rank among all of the poker hands, and it's probably the best looking-thing in the entire game. The opposite quarter of the screen holds tiny icons representing the cheats that you can use and also serves as the play area for the various mini games you'll have to play.
If you're not familiar with Texas Hold 'Em the game provides you with a tutorial, but there are far better versions of the poker game available. The betting sequence seems off as you're always asked to place a bet at the beginning of a round and the other players seem to make there bets in a random sequence – and it's worth mentioning that going all-in is not an option in this game although it is a major aspect of Texas Hold 'Em. Play is also painfully slow as the AI takes forever to decide what to do, and that's not even taking into account the extra time required when other players are executing cheats, indicated by a big red "cheating" sign plastered on the front of their gamer pic.
Unfortunately, the cheating doesn't save the poor poker play of the game. As you make bets you earn cheat points that can be used to activate various cheats during play. These include things like swapping out one of your hole cards or a card on the table and stealing money from one of the other players. To pull off the cheat you'll need to win its associated mini game, which is selected from half dozen or so available games. Some are gambling-related, such as trying to win a hand of blackjack or of high-low (Acey-Ducey), or rolling a given number or higher with a pair of dice, while others are timing-based, such as trying to stop a roulette wheel in a given zone or stopping a bouncing pointer as close to the top of a meter as possible. None of these games can really be classified as being fun to play, and after you've seen them all a few times they begin to feel like more of a distracting chore than anything else. However, the worst part of the cheating aspect is that it doesn't do anything to actually make the poker more fun to play. Swapping cards simply makes it feel like you're playing some sort of draw poker variation of Texas Hold 'Em and even the other cheats such as stealing other players' money doesn't really have a big impact on this low-limit, no-all-in version of Texas Hold 'Em.
Texas Cheat 'Em may be built on an original idea, but it just can't pull it off. It's a sub-par version of the poker game merged with a cheating mechanic that really isn't that much fun. Most gamers are likely to lose interest in it after only a couple of games, and some after just a single play. Save your chips to spend on a better PSN game.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 58%. You're best off folding and sitting this one out.