All of us have those leisurely activities that we enjoy outside of gaming, for example it could be bowling, reading a book, playing a sport or even playing a game of pool. But as gaming has become bigger over the years, these activities have been virtually available through the internet and our home consoles. The latest game to try and simulate one of these activities is Pure Pool from developer VooFoo Studios, developers of the successful Pool Simulation game Hustle Kings. So have they succeeded again, or has Pure Pool illegally potted the 8 ball?
First thing noticeable is that, out of any other pool game that I have come across, Pure Pool is one of the most realistic simulators, not only graphically which, being the first Pool game available on Playstation 4 (soon on Xbox One), you would expect the graphics to be of a higher quality.
But the realism is also felt in the games mechanics. For example when taking a shot, you will go into a view that has you looking from where your going to hit the white ball, allowing the player to look up a bit to see what is at the other end of the table, now you can still get a birds eye view that simulates you walking around the table, but you cannot take a shot while in that view.
The game does have a few problems, 1 minor problem is that the game only offers (at the moment) 2 types of pool games, US 8 ball, which has 2 opponents playing against each other, where they have to pot all of there associated balls (either spots or stripes) then have to pot the 8 ball to win the match. Also 9 ball where players have to pot 9 balls in order, the player to pot the 9 ball by either hitting the lowest numbered ball on the table into the 9 ball to pot it, or potting the 9 ball if its the last ball on the table wins. It would be better to also have European Pool too (yellow and red ball) but this can be a future add on.
Another minor issue is that the game start screen has a bar at the top of the screen that seems to want to tell us everyone who is online, not only in your friends list but everyone who is playing Pure Pool. No other game that I know of does this, but then something like this is not really needed, if anything other gamers will probably play against other friends who have the game or at most use matchmaking to play against someone who is at the same level as they are.
But even though these last 2 issues might feel like minor problems, there is one major issue, the games servers are really bad, with the game struggling to connect to them most of the time, it can take a while to get a game started with another friend. Plus once you are in a game there is quite a delay of at most 30 seconds, now the delay is not a huge issue with pool being a game that does not require others to be in sync (makes party chat very interesting though), but it can get really frustrating when a game that should be straight forward to jump into can take a long time just to play one game.
The game itself is really beautiful, with plenty to do, with a Career for both 8 ball and 9 ball, challenges for those who want to do something different, plus the start screen allowing the player just to chill out and pot some balls without any competition. Unfortunately the online is buggy with the issue of starting a game, but once you do manage to get a game started it can be quite fun to challenge your friends.
Pure Pool is available on the Playstation Store and Steam for £7.99