Geewa pockets a simple but entertaining hit with Pool Live Tour
Any video game version of pool should always be played in real time against other players. In real life, pool is one of the quintessential games for making new acquaintances in random locations, and that cherished benefit thankfully translates well in this social version of the popular cue sport. And while Pool Live Tour could benefit from some more complex options, these social strengths along with its accessible gameplay are enough to render it one of the better games of pool on the web.
True to its name, Pool Live Tour only allows you to play against other Facebook users. This isn’t a problem thanks to its large number of players, although newcomers might balk a bit upon realizing that they have to practice their first shots while someone–most likely a stranger from another country–is watching them fiddle with the cue mechanics. If you prefer, you can warn your opponents of your ineptitude by using the passable chat interface, but keep in mind that it’s all too easy to miss messages since chat histories aren’t visible unless you click on the player’s name.
But rest assured, this is plain old 8-ball billiards, and you won’t encounter much trouble here if you know the basics of the game. There are no multicolored balls here or specialty variations like 14.1 Continuous, and winning the game merely consists of landing all your balls and the one black ball into all the pockets. Some venues offer the chance to add a bit of spin to your ball, but it never really rises above the complexity of knocking the ball in the hole. Pool Live Tour might even strike some players as a little too lenient; if you accidentally knock an opponent’s ball into a pocket, for instance, you’re usually allowed to keep playing your turn. And of course, you automatically lose the game if you pocket the 8 ball on the break.
Aside from these concerns, Pool Live Tour offers a decently large number of options despite its relatively simple interface. You can use your winnings or Facebook credits to purchase several time-limited cues with varying strengths and bonuses, for instance, and you can advance through four different venues and participate in a weekly tournament with leaderboards (provided your winnings are high enough). Winnings and entry fees increase at each venue, so you can expect to pay a mere two chips to play at the ratty Moe’s Pub and a whopping 1,000 at the chichi Manhattan Sky Loft.
This all makes for an excellent foundation, although Pool Live Tour could really shine if it allowed players to place their own bets or play in team matches. There’s some evidence that additions like these are in the works, as is the option to play at a practice table before jumping into a paying match. We’d also like to see the inclusion of different types of gameplay tables, such as one for Cutthroat and one for Snooker. If Geewa makes even a few of these additions–and it seems like they will–we wouldn’t be surprised if Pool Live Tour enjoyed a very long life in Facebook social scene.
As it stands, it’s hard not to like Pool Live Tour. The presentation is clean and colorful, the community is friendly and helpful, and the technical gameplay usually seems flawless, although we’ve read many reports of some players not being able to load the game or crashing when they pocket the 8 ball. We haven’t experienced these particular issues ourselves, however, but we’ll be happy to play this delightful release many times in the coming weeks regardless.
And so should you.