Pool Pro Online 3 In Review – don’t get caught behind the eight ball!
Remember when Yahoo started offering online multiplayer pool? It was an explosion of early social networking, mixed with great online gaming. Unfortunately, as most of you know it eventually spiraled into the pervert cave that it is now. Luckily with the creation of the iPhone/iPod Touch, that aspect of social gaming is back, minus the creepy attempts to “cyber”. You may be wondering why I’m referencing such a thing. Well, recently I was handed a copy of Namco’s Pool Pro Online 3. A single & multi player pool game with its own built in chat system.
Visually this game is great. The quality of the graphics is impressive at all levels. When playing you can view from your usual “over head” or “ball’s eye view” (my terms not theirs!) From over head the table and everything looks crisp and clear, then when you zoom in instead of getting pixilated the images actually get even better. You see reflections and shadows, movement is realistic and not choppy at all.
Controls are also somewhat similar to what you would expect from a browser pool game, just altered to account for touch. You drag your finger around to change your view/shot direction and alternate controls are pushed to the edges to give you a wide viewing area. To adjust “english” just tap the cue ball, and to select your shot power/ to take a shot, just drag the pool cue on the right side down however strong you want your shot to be. Nice and simple, like most of my favourite games the controls are easy enough that you don’t need to waste hours learning intricate details. You can almost literally pick it up for the first time ever and just play. I found the game extremely easy to pick up and in no time was sharking both virtual and real opponents without much difficulty.
Game modes is where Pool Pro Online 3 gets dynamic. First off, there are 3 types of pool you can play. Standard 8-ball, 9-ball, and Snooker. If you aren’t sure about the hows/rules of any of them, just check the help menus for a brief explanation. Now with those 3 game modes, you can also play single player (vs. CPU) or multi-player. The multi-player actually comes in 3 flavours: Online, Peer to Peer and Pass and Play. The last 2 modes are both “local multiplayer”. Meaning that you need to host/join a game with a friend nearby or share one device and pass back and forth. The Online is exactly that; you can play opponents from anywhere and on top of that, you can bet credits/points winner take all style. You can then take those points later and redeem them in the pro shop for other game enhancements.
Although I enjoyed the local games, passing back and forth with the wife or friends, the online is the exciting mode. You start in a lobby and from there you hop between different lobbies based on what game style you want to play. I had some success with this but unfortunately because not a lot of people are on the game all the time, it can take awhile to actually get a game going.
Now, if you tap the little icon in the top right, you can access leader boards, see your “friends list” as well as enter the chat system. Unfortunately, the lack of people really is the only thing that slows this aspect of the game down. As more people begin to play it, obviously things like wait times for games and people to chat with will dissipate.
Overall I think that Pool Pro Online 3 is excellent. As a social game, pool is one of the most popular in my opinion and I think Namco has done a great job of putting this together for your iDevice. My only real issue again is that there aren’t a lot of people constantly on yet so those wait times can be a bit of a buzz kill for a game with “online” in the title. Fortunately you have the single player mode so all is not lost. I would recommend this game to virtually anybody. Pool is such a universal game that I think gamers of all types can enjoy a title like this.
iTunes: Pool Pro Online 3
This review of Pool Pro Online 3 was brought to you by TMA's very own and very saucy SteveNaka.