Pool Nation ReviewJason Leyanna
Pool Nation is now available on the PlayStation Network and was released on the Xbox Live Marketplace in October of last year (2012). The game has been developed by CherryPop Games. Pool Nation allows you to play games of virtual pool without breaking the bank or even having to leave the comfort of your own home.
The game's tutorials help give a handle on the gameplay mechanics for various types of shots you can make. It shows you how to make jump shots, curve shots, bank shots, and other fancy plays. You may either complete all those tutorials or jump right into the main set of tournaments or go online and play against real people.
The main tournament modes are 8 ball and 9 ball and can be played either online or offline. CherryPop has also included an Endurance Mode to see how long you can last by making good shots at the balls on the table. You can play 3 ball in addition to the other game modes for a total of eight game modes to master.
Thirteen trophies can be earned on the PlayStation 3 (PSN) version to give more incentive to continue playing until you have collected them all. Also, within the game new pool cues and various playable characters can be unlocked. You can also unlock different sets of balls. For each of the matches you have the opportunity to complete extra challenges to get all 3 stars when playing against an opponent. If you win you still move on, so going back and finishing off these matches with all the extra components completed adds to its replayability.
There are various characters you can play against (and play as once you have unlocked them). Though you don't seem them outside of their moniker. The stick plays the game itself, which looks a little odd, but doesn't hinder gameplay. The characters get harder as you move your way through the tournaments and it keeps you on your toes. Once you get close to finishing, you almost can't lose a shot or the match is over before you know it. The game starts out easier too, so it isn't too intimidating and as I have mentioned before, there is the tutorial to get the hang of the moves.
The visuals of the table and the balls are aesthetically pleasing. Care was made to include intricate details in the game. The slow motion replays are nice when you've made a great shot or trick shot. The physics of the game play our very realistically. You can also switch view to view from above to make sure you have your angles right. The physics in Pool Nation are also well done and the game plays fluidly almost as if you are playing the real thing.
Gamers who have either a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 can purchase this downloadable game. For the price, you can't go wrong with Pool Nation if you want a entertaining billiard game. There are various modes and enough gameplay within for a game that's under $10 USD. The online gameplay is also a welcome addition. I suspect that DLC for the PlayStation version will be available at a later time.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.