PokerStars has kept the PowerUp Alpha safe in it’s (we assume) massive bejeweled spade shaped poker vault on the Isle of Man for months now. Either that or they were just been diligently tweaking the game in anticipation of a second roll out after collecting player experience date during its two-week opening testing phase earlier this summer.
Well, we finally have our answer and – sadly – there’s no supervillain-esque vaults involved. PowerUp, as a free-to-play version is back in the PokerStars lobby on its .com & .uk platform and while it looks like it’s been put under the grindstone a bit, there’s no really massive changes.
In addition to some graphical updates, the “standard” variant of PowerUp now features a different structure, a card cost change, and some bug fixes. Let’s take a look:
- New Starting Stack: 2,500 chips (instead of the previous iterations 1,000 starting mini-stacks).
- Starting Energy: 10 (poker crystals? or???) – instead of 18.
- Blind Levels: Go up every 7 hands (this has stayed the same)
- Energy Building: +2 (again – are we calling these poker crystals, or what? Maybe GambleMana? Let us know, PokerStars – we’re available for name consultation gigs).
Power Cost Changes:
- EMP Card Cost reduced to 3: The EMP card now costs 3 GambleManas (variance calories?) instead of 4, a reduction we welcome even though we still think this thing has a 1 poker crystal (betting bolster?) cost written all over it, value-wise.
- All the main crash bugs fixed – this was conveniently left vague.
- Disappearing cards after disconnection – thing of the past
- X-Ray card indicator not showing after disconnection – you bet your life it shows up 100% of the time now.
- Game localization issues – solved (great, we guess).
- Action buttons not showing on specific scenarios – all action buttons all the time now from the sound of it.
- Card/ player visibility issues after reconnection – we’re beginning to see a pattern here…
- Energy not showing after players fold – seems everyone is energetic all the time now.
- Inaccurate power state at the beginning of the hand – seems like a two sided coin but glad it’s solved.
- Sound issues and volume – the most important aspects of poker.