Pool Master is fun in 2 minute spurts but pool sharks will be disappointed by all that it’s missing
For those wanting a brief excursion from the chores of everyday life, Pool Master may be the remedy. This two minute title provides simplistic, quick-fire fun at the expense of any depth or longevity.
The good about about Pool Master is that you don’t need to put in hours of sacrifice to enjoy the game. You have two minutes to pot as many balls as possible, with every successful shot netting an extra 4 seconds playtime. With only one mode to pit your skills against, however, the novelty soon wears off.
After witnessing one tutorial screen you’ll know all there is to know, and can get started instantly. Begin by placing your ball on the table, click on where you want to aim, drag the mouse back and release. This’ll send the cue hurtling towards the white ball, and if you’re lucky, will pocket enough colours to get your score rolling.
Moving through the levels of Pool Master, you’ll encounter opportunities to rack up some amazing combos. Special multiplier balls appear and if you pocket more than one with a single shot and there’s a good chance your screen will be infested with the festivities of a super combo. Potting three or more balls at the same time will enable this, and is the most efficient method of grabbing those huge points. This is by far the most satisfying feeling in the game, as your total galvanises in an instant. It’s risk and reward, as potting the white ball lops off enough points to warrant a dissatisfied wince.
There are problems with this title though. Often, the screen can become choppy and make it difficult to see where your shot has landed. This is even more potent when someone opens a chat conversation whilst playing, as you may as well aim with your eyes closed in the aftermath of your virtual popularity. It’s also apparent that there isn’t any way of readjusting your shot once you’ve clicked down on the mouse. If you realise there’s a better angle to aim at or that you want a different approach, you won’t be able to redeem yourself until the next attempt. Combined with the fact that you cannot add spin to your shots, it’s almost impossible to find precision. This isn’t so irritating for pocketing balls, but makes things unnecessarily tough when trying to ensure the white ball stays aloft.
To hammer home the disappointment of Pool Master, the social side of things could be much improved. The only interaction you’ll see with your friends is their scores; there’s no head-to-head play, and no creative spark. Competing against their scores is fun, but just like the rest of the title, wares thin after a few plays.
When it comes down to it, Pool Master is good for killing a couple of spare minutes, but that’s it. Fun while it lasts, a few niggles stop this from becoming a title that we’d wholeheartedly recommend. Inconsistent performance issues and the inability to correct your shots make this an ample, if infuriating experience. For fans of pool, you’re better of saving your time for the real thing.