From The Sims to Watch Dogs, passing through Red Dead Redemption: the most famous cases of “game in game”

The most famous cases of “game within a game”. From The Sims to Watch Dogs, passing through Red Dead Redemption, we discover this phenomenon

In the world of videogames, there are different categories of games. There are those based on a single theme, such as sports ones. Just think of the various chapters of FIFA, PES or Formula 1, which allow the player to try their hand at different modes, such as career or quick match / race and so on. But the content and purpose of the game are always the same. Then there are the adventure ones, in which it is possible to try different levels, with increasing difficulties and increasingly stronger opponents or bosses. Even in these, in most cases, the theme and purpose of the video game do not change. However, there are also some games in which it is possible to deal with small breaks in the form of mini-games that break the rhythm of the main plot. These can be of the most varied types, as happens, for example, in Final Fantasy VII, where at a certain point you have to face a mini-game based on a motorcycle race, which does not seem to connect with the main vein of the story, but which allows you to disconnect for a second and have fun just the same.

However, similar things also happen with some card games, such as poker. This, in fact, we find it not only within the scenes of famous films, such as the various “Casinos”, “La Stangata” or the very Italian “Ace”. Rather, real poker games can also be played in the videogame and not only through ad hoc applications built for smartphones, PCs or consoles, but even as mini-games in highly renowned titles. Above all we can mention a classic: Red Dead Redemption 2. For those unfamiliar with it, it is a videogame belonging to the category of open world, ie in which it is possible to do practically anything inside the virtual world recreated and set in the old and wild American West. Here it is possible to ride and fight with other very fast Texas gunslingers, but you can also sit at the tables of a characteristic Saloon of the cities where you arrive, to refresh yourself and indulge in real games of Poker in the Texas Hold’em version. The simulation is faithful and extraordinarily real, even in difficulties: to win it will take a lot of luck.

The setup of the mini-games within Far Cry 3 and Super Mario Bros

Another title in which poker can be found throughout the main storyline is Far Cry 3. Of course, the question may arise spontaneously. What’s a card game doing in a shooter set in beautiful tropical islands? The answer is simple. In these you can access numerous secret rooms where you can try your hand at no-limit games of Texas Hold’em. This is an opportunity for the player to earn virtual money that can be spent in the game, to buy and unlock upgrades to be used during the main storyline. But it certainly doesn’t stop there. As collected by the editorial staff of, there are also other games in which it is possible to play poker games, such as The Sims 3. It is one of the most famous videogames globally for the “life simulator” genre, in which it is possible create your own avatar and let them lead a virtual life, complete with family, work, home and much more. Among the possibilities offered by the game, there is that of going to a casino where our computerized alter ego can try their hand at poker games. Small detail: it will not be the real player who will face the hand, but our virtual character, who we could limit ourselves to observe or make him assume the typical expression of a professional poker player.

But if all of this hasn’t already intrigued you enough, the coup de grace comes with two other games where you would never expect to be faced with a game of poker. The first is Super Mario Bros, in which you have the opportunity to play themed mini-games that allow you to collect bonuses, coins or upgrades useful to tackle the next levels. The second is Dead Rising 2, in which you have to fight against very dangerous zombies, but between a living dead and another you can switch off for a moment by going to a casino and have a game of poker. We limit ourselves to these, but there are really many more to discover!