"Can't read my, can't ready my no he can't read my poker face"
– Lady Gaga, Poker Face
Five Card Jazz, as the developer puts it, is like a combination of Yahtzee and poker. To be honest, we've never played Yahtzee (I was alway more of a Monopoly or Battleship guy) but we thought we would give it a try.
The Object of the Game
To those who have never played Yahtzee, the rules are a bit confusing at first. The idea is to pull poker hands and match them with the scoreboard above. For instance, if you manage to get Three of a Kind, you choose Three of a Kind from the scoreboard above and hit the "Score" button. That will add points to your total, which is calculated at the end of the game as your "Final Score."
What We Liked
We've never heard of Five Card Jazz, and we looked around Google for a while, and were pretty much pointed back to this game. If that is the case, and these folks created the game, kudos to them for taking some existing ideas and making their own thing out of it. We can't fault them there. Yes, it plays a lot like poker, but with a twist. It's a game someone could play alone if they had a real deck of cards. In short, they strived for something fresh when it simply could have been just another poker game. We will give them that.
What We Didn't Like
The rules throw you off a bit, especially if you've never played Yahtzee. The explanation was so-so, and we found that the best way to learn was to play and make a few mistakes. After a few games we had it down though. Still, it would be nice to have an option in the help menu for a quick walkthrough of a round or two.
The home menu was a bit weird at first. We were looking for a "Play Game" option or something along those lines, and realized that we had to touch the Five Card Jazz logo to play. Looking back, we can now see "Click to Play" but green on green didn't immediately stand out. (In all fairness it starts flashing after a few seconds as if saying, "Hey, dummy, I'm right here!")
There are two ways to look at this: Are you a poker fan? Or are you not a poker fan? If poker isn't your thing, then there is absolutely nothing of value to be had. However, fans of video poker looking for something a bit different may want to try this one out. We also appreciated not being placed against computer opponents, because they always seem to be given the good hands.
It's definitely no contender to be one of the best iPhone games of 2010. The price leaves a bit to be desired. We're not trying to sound cheap, but competition on the App Store is tough, especially when there are several very popular and very fun games competing at the same price range or less.
2.5 out of 5