PokerMillion 2009: The Bluff

Type 'poker' into our trusty Pocket Gamer search engine on your left and you'll be greeted by literally hundreds of results, which demonstrates how saturated the mobile poker market is today. To stand out from all the others, developers are going to have to offer something different to the genre, which is what Massively Mobile is trying to do with PokerMillion's lavish Story mode.

Stakes are high as you follow the trail of your missing brother Alex, a world-famous poker genius who likes to keep a hand in the criminal underworld. Alex has suddenly gone AWOL and is presumed dead so it's up to you to spend thousands of dollars at the world's most lucrative casinos to try and find out where he's gone. As you progress you find out that he's been captured by a man known only as 'The Wolf' and you must use your own poker talents to bring him down.

Not only is the story fun and packed full of twists, but it's fabulously presented. Detailed environments are matched with characters that wouldn't look out of place in a Frank Miller comic book. The story is shown in stylish cut-scenes, and includes a musical score that perfectly sets the mysterious tone on your search.

As well as the standard Texas Hold 'em found in all poker games, you'll also be trying you hand at games like Omaha hi/lo and Pineapple, with handy tutorials if you aren't familiar with these variants.

Alternatively you can play through the whole game in plain old Texas Hold 'em mode, so don't fret if card experimentation isn't high on your agenda. The game also has a nifty odds stat in the corner of your screen, showing you the chances of winning with only the most daring gamers overriding it and going all in if they feel lucky.

Unfortunately, Story mode can also be PokerMillion's downfall. Since the narrative is full of deception and intrigue, it can feel broken up by drawn-out games of poker, especially during the tense siege held in the Afghan mountains.

Standard Tournament mode and Quick Play options are the only other things on offer here, and although the Story option is brilliant in itself, we can't help but feel Massively Mobile has missed an opportunity to add a lot more to the game to make it the complete poker package. A Bluetooth multiplayer mode as shown in the recent Pirates of the Caribbean Poker, for instance, wouldn't have gone amiss.

It doesn't offer the variety of something like Rounders Poker, but then again it has a much better story than The Sopranos Poker and isn't as poker faced as many other simulations out there. It's as smart and classy as a card dealer in Monte Carlo, but, unlike a card dealer, it'll leave you feeling as though you've had your money's worth.

PokerMillion 2009: The Bluff

Worth a punt if only for the brilliant Story mode, although this can't disguise the lack of other options on offer