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TUAW's Daily App: Sword and Poker

Note: We started up our new feature last week, titling it "App Of The Day" without recalling that our friend Jordan had already used that name for his site. So, we're renaming our "one great app, every day" feature. If you have a suggestion, share it in the comments below, and if we pick yours, we'll send you a t-shirt.

Sword & Poker came out earlier this year, but if you missed it the first time, check it out now. It offers up an intriguing mix of game genres -- it's an RPG at heart, with your hero running through dungeons on a map and upgrading equipment, but the battle sequences are a mix of puzzle and poker gameplay. You lay down cards on a matrix trying to get the best poker hand you can, and then matching certain poker hands does damage to your enemy (or to you, if your enemy is able to assemble a three of a kind or even a royal flush).

It's an intriguing mix of gameplay that's balanced very well -- battles have a very steady pace and even though a few different game genres are being juggled here, they all stay in the air together. The music is impressive, too, from the marching battle sequence to the RPG-style fanfare and excellent sound effects. Apparently the game also has a pass-and-play versus mode, but I never tried it -- there's more than enough depth in the singleplayer RPG. A free version is available to try out, and the full version is $3.99.

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Note: We started up our new feature last week, titling it "App Of The Day" without recalling that our friend Jordan had already used that...