I’m willing to use my imagination with a lot of iPhone games. I’m willing to race, shoot, spin, dodge—but there’s something surreal, downright deconstructionist about taking the real things that we do and converting them into simulations for a platform that’s no bigger than your palm.
With games like The Sims I get a cold shudder that originates in my hands and runs up to my brain. In what kind of messed up game do you have to tell your character to use the bathroom, go to sleep, make love to their girlfriend? Shouldn’t you, as the god of the game, be concerned with more important things, like winning?
I’m not sure where exactly my complaint for Arcade Pool originates. Is it the fact that it’s a simulation?
Is it the fact that I’m a pool lover and usually win in reality but find myself being creamed online? Or does touching that little bitty screen and lining up the shots just remind me of what I’m not doing: playing pool?
Don’t get me wrong- Lucky Clan’s Arcade Pool Online is an excellent simulation. You adjust angle and stroke power with each shot (although a toggle for setting the english would be nice too) so as to get it into the pocket just right.
The controls are well-adjusted for this and you can line up your shot to a fraction of a pixel. If you’re a little off, the object ball will bounce out and rattle around the table, and if you sink the object ball, it makes a satisfying “ka-plunk.”
It’s all very real without being real. The balls, the way they move—Arcade Pool even simulates the sound of your stick striking the cue ball. But there’s something unsatisfying with the whole experience: the silent online opponents, the perfect flatness of the table, the canned applause when you win.
There’s no crushed egos or broken hearts in this game. Nor is their elation. There’s not even really victories and defeats. Winning a game of pool online will either get you points or lose you points, points that no one cares about.
If there’s a come-back component of this game then it’s coming back to try to fashion a more satisfying experience.
There’s also a solo version of the game. In the solo version if you scratch it sets the cue back on the dot from which you struck, and if you preemptively sink the eight, the “game” just keeps going. I wouldn’t recommend fiddling with this unless you are really bored or a masochist. And if you’re a masochist, let me recommend some more painful but less boring games.
The online element really soars in its potential to be a vibrant gaming atmosphere. It’s got a chat board and leader board and everyone’s rankings are displayed in ascending order. So much thoughtful planning for players who really don’t care.
It’s kind of a tragedy in that way.
Follows all the rules of eight ball
Need to be able to adjust english
Can get boring