Hit deck-building poker roguelike Balatro gets tentative news of iOS port

Hit deck-building poker roguelike Balatro gets tentative news of iOS port
| Balatro
  • Balatro puts a new spin on poker with CCG and roguelike mechanics
  • Developer LocalThunk has received rave reviews for the title
  • Balatro was published by Playstack, and an iOS port is on the way

Deck-building poker roguelike Balatro is set to make the jump from computer to mobile with an iOS port, it has been confirmed. As first reported by J. Bentley for iMore in their review of Balatro's Mac port, developer LocalThunk has confirmed it will make the jump to iOS. Although LocalThunk didn't disclose details about a potential release date, Balatro was first released in February 2024 to almost instant rave reviews for console and PC.

Balatro is a deceptively retro-looking poker roguelike, which rather than following the typical rules, upends them. Your objective is not to 'win' bets. Instead, you have to beat each 'blind' by getting a high enough score of poker chips. Each blind can go up to a 'boss blind' with unique mechanics that require the use of game-changing 'joker' cards to beat; in other words, it's just as much a CCG as it is poker.

The house always wins
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Balatro has already faced, and overcome, some difficulties since launch. It was briefly pulled from storefronts when the rating was unexpectedly changed - jumping in the UK from PEGI 3 to PEGI 18 - over accusations by rating boards that it encouraged gambling. Fortunately, although there were initial difficulties, Balatro returned to storefronts and has remained an astounding success for developer LocalThunk with many viewing it as a potential game of the year.

Indeed, something like this; a fast-paced CCG with exciting and stylised graphics seems almost built for on-the-go play. Hopefully, if an iOS release is on the cards (pun not intended), then an Android port might be somewhere down the line for other players.

But if you're excited about Balatro, why not check out what's already hit storefronts this year? Our list of the best mobile games of 2024 (so far) includes both hidden gems you might have missed and major releases you'd be silly not to play!

Iwan Morris
Iwan Morris
Iwan is a Cardiff-based freelance writer, who joined the Pocket Gamer Biz site fresh-faced from University before moving to the editorial team in November of 2023.