“8-Ball - Corner Pocket”
‘Pool Nation’ is a fun, polished Billiards simulator and a bargain at its $1 pricetag (Steam Fall Sale 2014). Released as the maiden offering from Cherry Pop Games, it’s gorgeous visuals, multiple game modes, lengthy campaign and lots of unlockables will keep Pool fans coming back for more. Campaign | Gameplay:
Gamers have the choice of playing standard 8-ball or variations like 9-ball, Rotation, Endurance, Sudden Death etc across a variety of visually stunning locations / pool halls. A lengthy campaign mode (against AI opponents) allows you to perfect your game and strive toward numerous unlockables including new locations, pool table decals, new ball styles and cue styles. Additionally, the online mode allows you to match up with friends or other online players in single matches, Tournaments or King of the Hill events. Multiple difficulty levels (from Novice to Pro), a spot on physics engine, responsive controls, and a great soundtrack make this the best Pool game to date. Flaws:
In considering its biggest issues – 1. Game Stability is poor (Tabbing to windows results in an insta-crash) and 2. Online Gaming is largely dead (Bring your own friends). Additionally, the developers have pushed the previously promised ‘Trick Shot’ mode to the next release, and the lack of Co-op play is disappointing as well.
Overall, ‘Pool Nation’ is the best conception of a Billiards game to date and fans of the real game will find this a fun, polished distraction. But, even ardent fans soon realize that Pool without the smoky basement rooms, uneven cues, pitchers of beer, chatty girls, side-bets and bar-room trash talk, is a somewhat hollow experience. Recommended on Sale (Best played with Friends) - Rated (7/10)