From a small team of developers behind hit games such as Empire Earth and Sim City, here’s a new indie game you might not have heard about!
Lords of New York is a 2D role-playing game set in 1920s New York, cantered around poker and the lives of some interesting characters who play it. The main character is Vince, a quick-witted petty criminal, who challenges a range of shady opponents at the card table.
Praised for its voice acting, expressive animation and realistic portrayal of 1920s New York; Lords of New York is only in early access mode but already proving to be popular amongst not only poker players and those interested in historic and story-driven games.
Of course, this isn’t the first video game that lets you play poker within a story narrative – Watch Dogs 2 and Far Cry 3 are notable examples of titles which also bring the classic card game to the table. But in the latter two examples, poker has featured more as side-game or mini-games, with no overall influence on the development of the storyline or characters.
In Lords of New York, on the other hand, poker is the central force around which the story is cantered. Unlike the type of gameplay typical of online poker sites, Lords of New York allows players to become immersed in a story; able to use their visual examination of opponents in their poker strategy.
In other words – it’s as much about the characters as it is about the poker – and these character sure are entertaining and lovingly animated. They respond to your every move, allowing you a lot of options to interact. You can determine, for example, whether a character is nervous or confident, and base your gameplay around their behaviour. If a character gets too annoying – slap them around the face!
Just like in real poker, you might start to show signs of weakness as well. You need to consider who you are playing against and bring the appropriate skillsets to each game. For example, if you are playing against a character who is good at noticing nonverbal cues, then you will need to be careful to not bluff excessively. This is when it would be handy to bring an emotion-concealing talent with you into the game. Those less experienced in poker will be relieved to find that there’s also the option of employing some dirty tricks as a way to increase their chances of winning. Cheating is a big part of the game!
The objective, however, isn’t always to win money. Sometimes your task might be to humiliate an opponent, in which case it doesn’t matter who emerges as the final winner providing you can get an embarrassed reaction out of the character in question. At other times, you might have to do the opposite – give an opponent a false sense of confidence by letting them win the first few rounds.
Besides the fun bouts of Texas Hold’Em, gameplay includes making your way around a historically climatic and visually stunning 1920s New York. The indie developers behind the game, Lunchtime Studios, carefully researched the era, incorporating subtle features that ooze the spirits of jazz age America. From the speakeasy music to the sleazy bars, everything is reflective of the decade.
One of the best things about Lords of New York is how it’s suitable for poker players of all levels, as you progress at a pace which suits you whilst building upon your skills along the way. It’s a game full of character – sure to appeal to those already in love with poker, and certain to peak an interest in those unfamiliar with the card game.
You can purchase the early-access version of Lords of New York on Steam right now!