Scrabble and poker may seem like an unlikely pair, but the two have joined forces in Words & Cards, a new free-to-play puzzler from Ayopa Games. The result is unique to be sure—a colorful blend of vocabulary and card-playing that provides a few engaging sessions of casual, online head-to-head play. Over time, unfortunately, it becomes evident that Words & Cards lacks any real sense of depth or replayability. Like a beta still in its testing phase, this game sadly feels incomplete.
Crossovers aren't all that uncommon in video games, but they're rarely as satisfying as we want them to be. Sure, it's fun to see Iron Man tussle with Street Fighter's Chun-Li, or watch Mario trade blows with Sonic the Hedgehog, but what would happen if characters from disparate realities just sat down and, y'know, talked? The Poker Night games might be the only ones to answer this question, and the second one has made a pretty slick transition to iOS.
Playing to the powerful pull of both puzzle solving and card playing, Chip Chain mashes up match-three puzzles with poker aesthetics in an inventive way that's highly addictive, yet accessible to folks who have no clue what a royal flush is. While the gameplay itself has very little to do with the actual game of poker, it scratches a different kind of itch that carves out common ground between card sharks and casual players alike.