Gambling is an activity that transcended centuries all around the world and is still enjoyed today in various forms. People that love to play on slots machine or roulette, go to a casino, for example, the Admiral Casino.
People that love to play the cards like poker or the world unique Hungarian cards, gather to a common friend, people that want to chill on a laptop and are gamblers play at an online casino. And there are also gamers that can also meet the world of gambling. It’s not surprising major game producers integrate gambling into their games.
But there was a game like no other that surpassed even the well know Grand Theft Auto – it’s a role-playing game, on the fantastic side with killing monsters and saving princesses, and that is the Witcher series that added gambling in a form of poker and dice.
Witcher 1 & 2
Apparently poker has entered in fantasy world too, through the first Witcher game. I don’t remember a Lord of The Rings, Elder Scrolls or Warcraft containing a mini-game, like poker. Witcher was the first game I ever heard of having a gambling mini-game. The first two Witcher video games let players gamble through Dice Poker, that is described as “very popular game through Temeria.” The game seems to be similar to Draw Poker; its aim is to achieve the best hand from five dice.
There are a few tricks you can do to increase the chance of success, through during the game is one chance that can make the players feel like unlucky. The game might bug the player but it helps with the gold and experience, especially in later chapters. It’s a simple game, best two-out-of three rounds. If you start with a good hand, bet aggressively and the computer might yield, if not just save and reload until you get what you want.
In Witcher 3, there is no more Dice Poker, the card game has been replaced by Gwent, in which you collect cards during the game and build a powerful deck. I barely started the game, went to the first inn searching for our Yennefer and some scholar that wanted to write about wars invites me aka Gerald to play a game of Gwent. Besides the Nvidia HairWorks, personality of the peasants that you meet and really good graphics over the landscape and some growling of some Drowners, the Gwent really hit you in the spot. Because of the poor tutorial of the card game, I rather preferred killing beasts, monsters and saving witches.
But for us, the minority that ignored the scholar Gwent is on the back of our minds “What if I tried more” and then after hours and hours of doing main quest and side quests and meeting peasants, we go back to a whatever scholar that wants to write about wars and give it a try. Gwent is apparently very engaging, if you understand it. The Witcher developers added this mini-game in order to give a pause to the horseriding poor Roach, helping a fellow female creature or killing bandits. And even I felt like having a pause to that. Gwent had so much success in the game, that CD Projekt Red released a stand-alone game of pure Gwent!
Gwent is less about collecting cards and is more about what you do with the cards you’ve got. Gwent is also forcing a limit on gold and silver cards, making the player to understand the ins and outs of basic commons and rares. Anticipation, reactions, predictions and a change for an occasional gamble are paramount qualities of the player in order to make the most of Gwent. It’s like poker, mind games, baiting, it’s all here in a pure-joy mystery of every turn that runs through the course of the match.