Playing poker can be more than just strategy…it’s skill and logic as well….and a little dash of luck. It is a card game after-all.
505 Games and Pipework Studios have brought the game of poker to your home through Prominence Poker, an online multiplayer focused game that pits you against the world.
Prominence Poker, while being a multiplayer focused game, has several gamplay modes.
- Tournament (6 people at a time)
- Ring Game (drop in/out poker)
- Head to Head (1 on 1)
- Practice (single player)
- Underground (single player story mode)
Each time a new game is played, it takes place in a randomized selection of three location environments (there are two currently not unlockable at this time of review). These include a bar, a laundromat and a casino.
The game starts you off in character creation, creating personality in the game is a very appealing attribute these days, giving you the most basic of options to choose from to define your poker alter ego. The general options for customization are minimized to your hair and facial attributes, as your clothing is automatically defaulted to a tacky tourist outfit.
Your starter character is also defaulted to select a nickname from a select few options, such as…. “The Tourist” or “The Newb”.
Many other nicknames, unique outfits, accessories and physical image options are individually unlockable once you level up through gameplay.
After you’re done creating your character you are instantly dropped into a mini tutorial game against The Mayor. It’s a pretty simple tutorial, as it runs you through the controls of how to check, fold, and raise. It also teaches you the most critical gameplay aspect….how to taunt. The game is made for you to always beat the Mayor, since it’s a tutorial. For completing the tutorial, you are awarded a bankroll of approx $25,000 to help you start your funds.
From this point, it’s an open option of which gameplay mode you wish to tackle. Each mode has a different buy-in value for the table gameplay.
While I tried all the modes available, I mainly focused on playing Tournament mode and thus much of the rest of the review will be focused more towards that part of the game, though much of the general rules of the game and how the game is played is similar across modes.
Once enough players are seated at the table, the high card is dealt. Whoever receives the high card, is the dealer for the round. This delegation rotates clockwise around the table every round. The player immediately left of the dealer, will pay a Small Blind to the pot, with the next left player paying the Big Blind to the pot, before any cards are dealt. All players are then dealt Hole Cards, which are used to help establish a hand. The gameplay then continues clockwise, as per general poker rules. This continues until a defined player has won the round; either by having a winning hand, all other players fold or the River Card is dealt. That player wins the pot for the round. The game is played until there is only one ultimate winner left at the table.
The first three players to bust out of the game do not receive any earnings and will lose the amount of the buy-in from their bankroll. The top three players in the game will win a specific amount of bankroll based on finishing position, with the first place player receiving the greatest amount.
Experience in the game is defined by “reputation”. As you complete certain tasks in the game, such as; winning a game, knocking a player out of a tournament, or having a certain card combination a defined amount of times in a round, a dial indicator on the screen will fill. Once the dial is full, you will level up. The maximum level attainable in the game is level 310.
There are several other ways to boost your experience/reputation or bankroll through gameplay.
- unique table items (“Tourist Tea” drink, Pig Sticker knife, Cigarette, etc..)
- special events (Happy Hour, Havanna Nights, Tourney Tuesday, etc..)
- weekly and daily challenges
The graphics are much more defined that several casino type games of the past, utilized by the Unreal Engine 4 graphics in game. This allows for the experience to feel more realistic to real world environment, while maintaining its cartoonish illustrative style.
The audio clip selected for the game is a letdown and has caused me to silence it during gameplay due to its repetitive sound and boring undertones. It doesn’t get me excited to play poker, but more to take a nap.
Prominence Poker is a rather enjoyable game, as compared to previous online poker video games I have played. The game is well developed to challenge you to refine your poker playing skills to level up, but doesn’t make it impossible for the average amateur player. I have found myself engrossed in it for many hours at a time, as it has a comfortable and appealing nature of gameplay. It’s also a safe and friendly environment to hone my poker skills while also feeding my inner gambler without the real life money risks.
Though this game has a Teen ESRB rating, I believe that due to the nature of the games content, it should not be played by gamers under the age of 18. Though the game has no real life winnings, it’s a topic that is not suitable for those underage.
Prominence Poker is also available for download on both Steam and PS4.