Written by: Leonard Brock
Way back in December 2013, I posted this article about the best video game poker options, and really there was a lot to choose from. I’m no casino gaming aficionado, but from basic PC offerings to a few fun little games for Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo, there were a lot of games to choose from. I also just found out about Las Vegas casinos at EasyMobileCasino.com, where you can play online and gamble with real money. But none of them really comprised the full-blown console poker experience a lot of card gaming fans want to see (at least according to some friends who are more into the genre).
Now it looks like just such a game has arrived. It always seemed inevitable that the crazy popularity of Texas Hold’em would combine with online multiplayer console capability in the form of a big shiny poker game. And earlier this year, Playstation Lifestyle confirmed that it would finally happen a then-upcoming PS4 game called Pure Hold’Em.
Following up on that, a new blog post at Playstation this very week announced that the game is now available for $19.99 in the U.S., meaning that poker fanatics can finally download the game they’ve been waiting for. Let’s take a look at some of the highly touted features and characteristics of the Pure Hold’Em experience.
For starters, visual quality is going to be a significant part of the experience. Game developer VooFoo prides itself on creating sleek and realistic experiences modeled on simple tabletop and casino games. A review at Gaming Age for Pure Pool, arguably VooFoo’s highest profile game to date, called the game “visually… a stunner,” and used phrases such as “photorealistic billiard balls,” “atmospheric backdrop,” and “looks stellar” all in the space of a single paragraph. That might sound a little excessive, but Pure Pool is one of those games that just truly emphasizes its aesthetics, and the same is expected of Pure Hold’Em. This is a pretty important feature for a game that will otherwise be pretty simple for a console experience.
Another feature touted in the Playstation blog announcement of the game’s release is strategy, which should be an interesting component because it will be uniquely suited to the free but competitive environment on console multiplayer networks. This is different from the strategy at pay-to-play poker sites that many Hold’Em fans already use on the web. Betfair’s online poker hub even goes as far as educating new players on the strategies they’ll need to succeed. An “introduction to the fundamental poker strategy concepts” is part of the experience, and naturally those concepts include betting techniques. With Pure Hold’Em, on the other hand, strategic capabilities mentioned include observing competitors to pick up on habits along with being able to sift through a hand of cards using the PS4 controller’s touch pad. Voice chat is also available for the game, so it’ll be interesting to see how far players take interaction, and how much that interaction really impacts strategy without real money on the line.
Finally, Pure Hold’Em was also designed with a sort of progress model in place, which is crucial for keeping more competitive players around given that there’s no actual money on the line. Basically, the game has different tables and levels that players can advance to based on their success in addition to daily chip stash bonuses that, while free, are earned through strong play.
All things considered, it’s fair to say Pure Hold’em is about to become the biggest free video game poker experience out there. We’ll find out in the months to come just how big a following it can gather!