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RealDice WC Poker for PalmOS

Tue Oct 3, 2006 - 11:40 AM EDT - By Xious Sonenberg

A Flawed Turn of Events

Despite its stunning appearance, and all of its features, MCP is a heavily flawed game, as it's a commercially sold beta and has quite a few bugs to squash, or at least the Palm version does. The more mature Windows Mobile version seems beset by fewer problems.

I found a number of problems, including a bug in the chat terminal where you communicate with other players. It seems that the developers somehow forgot that like the 700w|x, the 700p and 650 also have a space bar, and pressing it in chat mode does nothing, making it impossible to say anything more than one word long, so allyourwordstoruntogether.

Another glitch is the "C" denominated chip, which at first appears as if it should let you enter a custom amount. Not so! In fact, for some reason you cannot enter a bet with the keyboard at all on the Palm version or on Windows Mobile, though on Windows "Smartphone Edition" and Windows XP it's a snap to do so. Thus, if you want to make a $28 bet instead of $25 or $30, you are out of luck. The confusing chip in question is for zeroing out your bets, which is not apparent when the timer is ticking down and you are trying to put in a rush bet.

For that matter, the buttons for chips and for some actions are just too small, bordering on tiny and force you to whip out your stylus. The cancel and OK buttons for betting are so small, that even with a stylus you may find them hard to hit. This becomes especially irksome, since when you're playing in interactive game mode, you must make your actions before a green timer bar reaches zero.

The timer bar should also display exactly how many seconds you have left, but instead you have to guess at the remaining time while making your bets with only a gas gauge style indicator. While this isn't a big enough flaw to detract from the overall function of the game, is still something that the developers should (and could) easily fix. If you’d like to see it changed, by all means write to them and let them know.

The only other notable problem is that the game's text prompts vanish far too fast, though if you want to, you can shift into dialog mode, a sub-set of the chat interfaces to see what flashed on screen during the game. Of course this can get tedious as it forces you to leave the game table screen and watch a green timer tick away with no idea if it is your turn or not.

A Riveting River of a Conclusion

While MCP is crammed with features, and sports a beautiful interface, it’s simply not ready for prime time. Sure, the game is playable, and it's a lot of fun with tons of options that make it one of the best poker games for the Treo market. Unfortunately, it's not fully functional and with the numerous broken features and stunted game-play (compared to the Windows Mobile version) RealDice simply released it too soon.

But problems aside, MCP is an enjoyable way to pass the time, and if you don’t mind investing in it now before they work out these problems, it is a cool product, certain to impress your poker buddies at your local cigar club or bowling alley. Though the overall rating below is a 4, the reality of what this program deserves in its current state is a 3.5. TreoCentral's rating system doesn't do split-ratings, and WCP does deserve more than a 3.0.

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Cost/Benefit 3
Gui Aesthetics 5
Usability 3
Support 4
(not an average)
  • Play against computer opponents or real people online.
  • Offline play with computer-based opponents.
  • Very pretty interface.
  • Multiple modes for both on and off-line play.
  • Game log shows player actions.
  • Remembers your bankroll.
  • Cons
  • Still a BETA released too soon.
  • Monthly subscription required for Internet play.
  • Space bar does not work in Chat mode.
  • Avatars keyed to seat position, not a preference.
  • Some buttons are so small that the stylus can barely tap them.
  • Eats a lot of memory - 2079K!

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    Product Info
    > Name Real Dice Word: Word Championship Poker
    > Company RealDice
    > Tested with Sprint Treo 650
    > Tested with Sprint Treo 700p
    > Fact Sheet & User Opinions
    > Available
    > $19.95

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