Review: Pool (Switch)

While the release of Billiard seemed like it was tried to piggyback on Premium Pool Arena, there is a third Pool-related game that quietly surfaced after these two. This one is simply named Pool, and it’s advertised to have the basics of such.

 

Graphics

I like the laid-back game room setting Pool has going for it, but I don’t see why the framerate is at thirty frames per second. The visuals as a whole look like they could use an extra dose of polish; while the table looks fine enough, I otherwise get a third-party Playstation 2 sort of vibe from the game. The main menu especially needs a makeover; it’s simply way too basic for a finalized game project (the table being played on is a neat touch, though).

Audio

In a weirdly ominous manner, the title screen has muffled background chatter. Once you get past that, you hear a jazzy tune during gameplay. It suits Pool better, but the game does have a few stock sound effects like the buzzing that occurs when getting a Foul.

Gameplay

Oof. This one is definitely not at the standard the others set. The play style is 8-Ball only, and you can either play against an AI opponent or a friend in the room. After pressing all the buttons on both Joy-Cons, I’ve realized there are also no secondary camera views. There isn’t even a way to judge how the cue ball will bounce off the other balls. The only indication you get is the line showing that the ball will hit it. While on the subject of hitting balls, I can’t help but think doing so feels off.

The weight of them feels more like that of wiffle balls than billiard balls, and it is possible for them to not launch the way you’d think they would. Not even the AI can subvert this, as it amusingly slips up just as often, if not more, than you would. Whereas D3’s Billiard has brutal opponents as the player progress in the tournament mode, the AI in Pool stands on the total opposite side of the spectrum; there’s no difficulty slider, either. Heck, there’s nothing much else to do aside from get a friend to play. But why do that when you both could be playing one of the other Billiards games instead?

Verdict

Unfortunately, Pool isn’t up to par with the competition. It doesn’t have any features that make it stand out from other games in the genre. In fact, some are missing in action. I was only able to recommend Billiard to an extent, and Pool doesn’t have half of the content Billiard carries.

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