Archives by Day

August 2020

Just Deal With It

Platform(s): PlayStation 4
Genre: Casual
Publisher: Super Punk Games
Developer: Super Punk Games
Release Date: Nov. 13, 2018


PS4 Review - 'Just Deal With It'

by Cody Medellin on May 24, 2019 @ 12:00 a.m. PDT

Just Deal With It offers a twist on five classic card games: Blackjack, Crazy Eights, Hearts, Poker and Rummy. Team up with friends and family, play locally or online, launch attacks, sabotage the competition, and go all in for the win.

As an initiative, the PlayLink line of games feels drained. It could be because of the few players who want to give the games a shot, the annoying need to have every game have its own app, or a combination of the two. However, the lineup of games has quickly gone from something daring like Hidden Agenda to something tired like Knowledge is Power: Decades, which was a more limited version of its predecessor. Then there's Just Deal With It, a game so repetitive that it makes one wonder why it exists at all.

The game starts off with a very lengthy introduction by the Joker, the head of Deal Island. While he's going on and on about the island, you use your device to enter your name, pick a character, and take a photo of yourself for use in the scoreboard. From there, the first person to complete all of that will be given control of the game and decide which of the five games to play. Those games include Blackjack, Crazy Eights, Hearts, Rummy and Texas Hold 'Em. Once a game is selected, you go through an animated sequence where your characters travel to where the selected game is being played on the island. After a loading screen, you'll be given an explanation of the game's rules before you can finally play.

The first thing you'll note is that every card game requires multiple people. If you're playing online, that becomes a problem because the online community for this title never existed, so the only way to get that going is to set it all up beforehand via other means. If you're playing locally, that means that you need at least two devices going with the game's app already downloaded and running on each phone or tablet. Otherwise, there is absolutely no way to practice on your own.

For the most part, the touch-screen interface does a good job of making it clear which step of the game you're on, and the tapping of commands and dragging of cards is a natural thing nowadays unless you've never used a phone before. It would all be a relaxing exercise if it weren't for the fact that there's always a timer present during your turn. If you have the device's volume up, that means you'll hear a constant ticking, which breaks your concentration and forces you into rash decisions. If you have the device muted, you'll still have to deal with an announcer that is constantly goading you into making a move or asking if you're still there. Either way, those elements create a high-pressure environment, and unless you're quick on the draw, you'll hate this feature, especially since there's absolutely no way to turn it off.

The other feature you'll come to loathe is Party Play, which adds some video game elements to the standard card game. Periodically, you or your team of players will be given a randomly selected objective, such as winning a hand while betting all in or simply besting the other team. Completing these objectives first gives you power-ups, like slime bombs or smoke bombs that cover up the other person's screen, forcing them to get rid of the offending mess before they can continue their turn. Some of the power-ups require the player to swipe their screen, while others ask that they blow into a microphone, but no matter what you choose, all of it is an annoyance. Coupled with the ever-present timer, these power-ups simply encourage players to stop participating right then and there. Fortunately, you have the option to turn it off.

On the one hand, you have to appreciate the game's overall presentation. The papercraft hub world looks rather nice, and the characters look endearingly offbeat — even if they have nothing to do with cards at all. If the transitions and loading screens weren't there, players wouldn't mind the aesthetics at all. The sound, however, becomes an annoyance. Aside from the constant ticking of a clock and the benign music, the Joker's voice becomes something you want to quickly mute. Like the character designs, the choice of him being voiced as a bad Dracula impersonator feels out of place, and his quips are made worse because of it.

Just Deal With It is an example of a title that just wasn't planned out well. The inclusion of online play is fine, but it's wasted since there hasn't been an online community to speak of since the game's launch. The forced multiplayer means that there's no real way for players to learn the games on their own, and the use of power-ups feels arbitrary. Unless you want a more expensive way to play these games with friends locally, your best bet would be to check out YouTube tutorials for these games and break out a physical deck of cards.

Score: 3.0/10

More articles about Just Deal With It
blog comments powered by Disqus