PokerHand, a lost puzzle game from ADK veterans

I recently discovered the existence of a shareware puzzle game called PokerHand, developed by a company called PhoneCast (who I understand to be a short-lived iteration of ADK) and marketed by Sammy exclusively in Japan for Palm OS devices. It's a classic falling-object puzzle game, with the gimmick that to clear pieces from the screen, you need to form a valid poker hand.

[URL=https://i.imgur.com/5YO053u.gif][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/5YO053u.gif[/IMG][/URL]

It was released in March of 2001, to a highly positive reception from Japanese reviewers. [Muchy](https://web.archive.org/web/20010719001916/http://muchy.com/review/pokerhand.html), one of the most prolific and frequently cited reviewers in the Japanese Palm OS scene of the time, gave it a 5-star review. Vector, a marketplace and online magazine (who still exists to this day), also gave it their highest possible score. However, [according to one of the game's developers](http://t-8100.com/i-Pet_00.html), these reviews didn't translate into sales, and the decision was made to abandon the Palm platform after one release.

[URL=https://i.imgur.com/vQZEQhy.png][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/vQZEQhy.png[/IMG][/URL]

One of the developers, [Takashi Hatono](https://www.mobygames.com/person/168475/takashi-hatono/), has a website where he's provided some information on the game. This includes [a pitch deck](http://t-8100.com/pokerhand_02.html). Through the still-online [vector.co.jp review of the game](http://www.vector.co.jp/magazine/pocket/softnews/011010/n0110102.html), I've also managed to find a video:

https://twitter.com/explodingblood/status/1767835407641727036

However, while the shareware version of the game was available through vector at one point, it seems that the "myVector" service that hosted the files has since been rebranded as part of the regular Vector library. No listings for the game exist in the currently online versions, and I've been unable to find a download. The last known link for it was this:

http://my.vector.co.jp/servlet/System.FileDownload/download/http/196187/192883/pack/other/pilot/game/PokerHand.lzh

I'm still actively seeking this out, but I'd appreciate a heads up if anyone has any leads. I've spoke to Takashi over emails and he doesn't seem to have a copy, although he told me to contact Sega so there may just be copyright concerns. I've also got some active bids on a shareware collection CD over on Yahoo Auctions, but that's kind of grasping at straws. I figured this intersects with enough people's interests here that it's worth posting.

Can't test this myself at the moment but how's this?

@“gsk”#p157448

This is the one by BirdSoft, it’s a regular Poker game unfortunately. I think there are at least two other games by the same name.

Thanks for your research on this and for bringing it to our attention!

It might not help find the actual game, but I've submitted a very light MobyGames entry, which will hopefully increase the visibility/awareness of the game.

I'm digging through Sammy's old websites to see if there's any more info.

@“hellomrkearns”#p157500

I‘m really hoping I can track down a copy, but man information is scarce on this thing. I’m tempted to write a clone of it from scratch if I don't ever end up finding it, because I feel like the premise is just super compelling. It could end up being awkward to play, but I gotta know.

@“donrumata”#p157435 Very cool to know about. I know a lot of PalmOS stuff got packaged onto compilation discs, have you tried looking for/at any of those?

I can't tell exactly how it plays, but it's kind of reminding me a little of the earlier Ryukyu for PC Engine.

https://youtu.be/6tN5bcHCB_Q?si=1Ik4t9lwL62hfc0K

@“exodus”#p157529

Another comparison someone's given me is Raku Jongg for the Wonderswan, which seems pretty similar (except maybe a little more strict as it adheres pretty closely to riichi mahjong rules).

I've been digging through the stuff in Redump, but to no avail so far. Most of the shareware compilations are focused more on western games, with a handful of exceptions. I did however pick up a mook (with an included CD) that was written by Yoshihisa Muta, who was the titular Muchy of Muchy's Palmware Review, one of the sites that gave PokerHand a 5/5. I'm hoping that'll get me somewhere. There's a guy in the PalmDB discord that has some old ASCII Palm Magazine stuff he's offered to rip, too.

Casting a pretty wide net with this as it's something I'd like to get more eyes on. Mostly because I really want to play it, but also because I find it really frustrating to have images, video, pitch slides, reviews, concept art, and so on, but no actually playable game.

That developer's site is probably worth checking out for game historians, too. He has some interesting information in there about the last days of ADK and its successors. He's even posted [unpaid payroll](http://t-8100.com/ADK-mibarai_00.html) stuff. He has tons of scans of interesting stuff, like [forms they had to fill out for Neo Geo Pocket games](http://t-8100.com/NGP-Master_00.html). There's even [development schedules](http://t-8100.com/NGP-schedule_00.html)! [Twinkle Star Sprites story boards](http://t-8100.com/twincle_16.html)! This dude's kept a ton of his stuff.

@“donrumata”#p157454 ah damn, I just ripped it off ony of my old compilation ISOs and uploaded it without checking.

>

@“donrumata”#p157539 That developer’s site is probably worth checking out for game historians, too. He has some interesting information in there about the last days of ADK and its successors. He’s even posted unpaid payroll stuff. He has tons of scans of interesting stuff, like forms they had to fill out for Neo Geo Pocket games. There’s even development schedules! Twinkle Star Sprites story boards! This dude’s kept a ton of his stuff.

Yeah, it's one of those sites I've hesitated to share too much from because I worry that they might feel pressured to start pulling stuff if it were to get picked up in the wrong places. It did get me to track down the Nanja Monja LCD game, if nothing else.