Have You Performed… Poker Night time At The Stock?

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to go see my friends. We’ve tried, like everyone, to make things fun whilst remaining remote, from the classic Zoom quizzes to jumping on PokerNow and Monzoing each other tiny buy-ins. After enough sessions of this, and losing thanks to my lack of skill and somewhat wild playstyle, it became clear that while it’s fun as hell, maybe I’m just not cut out for poker.

What I needed were new friends and zero actual stakes. Thank you very much to the sadly defunct Telltale Games, then, and their game Poker Night At The Inventory. My new friends were an assortment of formerly-relevant video game characters, and the stakes were fake money and a pair of comically oversized shutter shades.

Ever wanted to stare down The Heavy from Team Fortress 2 as he ponders whether to fold when you’ve just gone all in with absolute trash in hand? How about hearing Max from Sam & Max ask the giant Russian for advice on which guns to purchase? Fancy listening to Strong Bad from Homestar Runner and Tycho from Penny Arcade argue about their PC specs, and how to remove bras with boxing gloves on?

Alright, yeah, to be fair there’s some insufferable stuff, and a lot of it is extremely of-its-time (the game came out in 2010), but it’s a nice little trip down memory lane for Online Kids from the early noughties, and a nice alternative to getting drunk on Zoom every once in a while.