S&PA is a sad game, it's sad because the core concept of fighting with poker hands is interesting, but it's sad because of timers, premium currencies and 99.99$ best values. It's sad because of facebook requests, it's sad because of things you could buy to make the game too easy. At least it's sad and I'm not saying it doesn't have merit at all.
The good part is how you travel in different maps, opening chests, fighting enemies and getting better loot. The battles are played on a 5x5 grid with 9 cards at the beginning and four cards in your hand. You make poker hands in the middle of the field to attack your opponent and the stronger your hand is, the more damage it does. Some weapons also add special effects to your attacks - like draining life and poisoning the enemy. I've got to say that poison is pretty useless, it deals 1 damage per ROUND - a round is a set of 10 moves - and it's not significant in any way.
You can find many things in chests, but you'll mostly find gold. You need gems - the premium currency - to buy the really good stuff, like weapons that are vastly superior to anything you could get otherwise. You can also use gems to replenish your energy or to restore your hit points. Energy goes down quite fast - and there's no way to increase your maximum - and if you die, you lose everything you've collected in a level, so you better pay up! You can also equip shields and use spells. The shields give you damage reduction and the spells have a few weird effects like increasing your damage the more spades you have in your hand, or something like that. You also get wildcards that really help you make good poker hands.
I've said it at the top, this is a sad game, it doesn't feel fun at all to stop playing a game because you don't have any more energy and must wait for it to go back, it doesn't feel fun to spend all of your gems to get your life back - because otherwise you'll lose your new sword and gold! - but then fight three more enemies and come out with no more energy and only a timer to look forward to. There's probably a neat game hidden somewhere in the core concepts of S&P:A, but it's not this one.