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Pure Pool Review

by Damian Seeto

Pool is not a sport that gets talked about often, but it’s a fun sport to play with friends if you are in a bar. As for video games based on Pool, not many of them have been made but they’re still fun. Pure Pool released for the PS4 recently promises to be the best Pool simulator ever created.

The developer of Pure Pool is VooFoo Studios. VooFoo Studios are the kings of making pool video games as they were also the team behind Hustle Kings. Hustle Kings was released for the PS3 and PS Vita a few years ago and was praised for its clean graphics and fun gameplay. Pure Pool takes a more realistic approach to the sport which may make the game harder to play, but it’s still a game that can be mastered to any type of gamer.

The best thing I like about Pure Pool is its simplicity and easy learning curve. If you know the rules of Pool already, playing it on a controller isn’t as complicated as you may think. Arguably, playing the game on a DUALSHOCK 4 controller is easier than playing the sport in real life. Trust me, playing Pool in real life is more difficult than playing in Pure Pool.

When I say that Pure Pool has an easy learning curve, I really mean it. This is because Pure Pool is only one of the few games my Mom can play without needing much assistance. She even beat me in one game for crying out loud. If someone like my Mom can play Pure Pool with ease, I’m sure anyone else will be able to pick and play this game too.

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The main selling point about Pure Pool is its controls. They are really good and easy to remember. All you need to know is that the left analog stick controls the power of your cue. Flicking the stick down and the flicking it up controls how much power you hit the ball. The slower you flick, the less power you get and vice versa. As aforementioned, it’s an easy control system that even my Mom was able to master.

only one of the few games my Mom can play

The other thing I liked about Pure Pool is that the game gives you visual aids to let you know where your balls are going. A white line shows you the direction of the cue ball’s trajectory, while a yellow line shows you the general vicinity of where the other balls might be going. You can also add spin to the cue ball for more complex shots you may have to make. It’s not essential to use the spin move all the time, but it will help you out during stickier situations you may find yourself in.

The one thing Pure Pool doesn’t have that Hustle Kings included is a bird-eye-view mode. In birds-eye-view, it’s too easy for you to see where the ball might be heading. VooFoo Studios wanted Pure Pool to be more realistic so you can only see from a perspective like if you were playing pool in real life. I actually liked the camera in Pure Pool as it was more challenging than using the bird-eye-view camera all the time when I played Hustle Kings.

I would say Pure Pool is more enjoyable if you are playing the game with friends whether that be offline or online. I liked the game a lot, but facing strangers online or even the A.I. is quite difficult. Playing against someone that is of equal skill as your own is the best way to play this game. It can be depressing playing against someone so good as you never have a chance to play if they always get their shots in.

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Another thing I would like to point out is that the A.I. is evil and sometimes uses dirty tactics in order to win. They would always use their own balls to block your way in getting shots in, or they would purposefully position the cue ball at a far distance. Sometimes I felt the A.I. was trolling me just to get me mad, and this was just on a amateur level of the career mode. This is why I said the game is more enjoyable with friends and family as the A.I. is a devious player…

In terms of game modes, there are a lot for you to enjoy in Pure Pool. Most people would play the standard “US 8 Ball” or “9 Ball”. US 8 Ball is where two players either have to pocket in normal colored balls or striped balls. The person that pockets all their balls in wins. For 9 ball, it’s similar but you have to pocket balls in the order of 1 to 9. The other modes are called “Killer” and “Accumulator” which are just variations of 9 Ball.

Outside of the main modes are Challenges. Challenges are solo efforts as you are timed by how many balls you can pocket in a certain amount of time. The modes included here are called “Speed Pot”, “Perfect Potter”, “Checkpoint” and “Royal Rumble”. It’s a nice alternative from the main modes, but they’re not as fun as the trick shot modes that were offered in Hustle Kings.

Graphically, Pure Pool looks great as all of the balls look shiny and are easy to see. You can also customize the look of the pool table itself giving it different patterns and even a different color. The one thing I didn’t like is that the game is always set in the same dingy looking bar. You cannot play in other locations like you could in Hustle Kings.

If you loved Hustle Kings, Pure Pool is a great spiritual successor. It may lack some of the unrealistic aspects of Hustle Kings, but Pure Pool is all about realism. Not to mention the game is accessible to just about anyone and fun to play. You should definitely get this game if you are a fan of pool.

 

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Pure Pool

  • Available On: PS4, PC
  • Published By: Ripstone
  • Developed By: VooFoo Studios
  • Genre: Sports
  • US Release Date: July 29th, 2014
  • Reviewed On: PS4
  • Quote: "Pure Pool is "pure" fun for the whole family"
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