Review: Griffin 5 Card Touch
On July 30, 2008, iLounge published iPhone Gems: Cards, Gambling + Arcade-Style Games, a feature article looking at seven assorted games developed for the iPhone OS. This review focuses on only one title from the collection; you can read the full article, with screenshots of all of the games together, through the link above.
Though we’d initially be inclined to describe Griffin Technology’s first two iPhone games as IQ tests—software that, if purchased, reveals the buyer to be not so bright—we can’t really blame customers for assuming that this venerable Apple accessory maker would do more than churn out third-rate demos at $2 a pop. But that’s what Griffin has done, apparently as an experiment to see whether iPhone gaming is a viable business. Consequently, 5 Card Touch feels like half of a poker game: you’re given an opportunity to bet up to $5, dealt a 5-card hand, then dealt replacements for whatever cards you decided to drop from the first deal. It’s like playing poker with real cards, against yourself, endlessly.
The result is a card game experience that utterly lacks in excitement and value. Most of the time, you’ll wind up with a pair or two pairs; if your pair’s lower than jacks, you lose your money; if it’s jacks or higher, you keep your money, and if it’s better than a pair, you earn some money. That’s it. Griffin’s background art is boring, and the only thing that’s mildly interesting here is the animation of the cards, which look to have been digitized from a real deck or drawn to look as close as possible. There’s no music, roughly three sound effects, and basically no reason to keep on playing after the first few hands—unless the idea of waiting around for that big royal flush to score $4,000 really entices you. Trust us, it won’t. As a card game, and as a gambling game, this is one of the least interesting poker titles we’ve seen in years.