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Pool Nation Review

There was a time when me and my friends did like to visit the local pool halls regularly to play billiard. Of course, if you want to socialize, it’s a great idea to do that, but since many games are played online today, I wanted to know if there is a great billiard game for PC on Steam. I did read many reviews and tested some of the games, but at the end there was just one winner, and the game is called Pool Nation.

Introduction

My reviews always come a bit late, the game was already released in 2013, but I like to suggest games that I found even if it happens much after the release. To be honest, I played the game already in singleplayer mode several times and liked it, but yesterday I could test the multiplayer mode together with one of my gaming buddies. Pool Nation is probably not the game that you will play every evening or regularly, but it’s one of those games that come in handy if you and one of your gaming friends don’t know what to play. We sometimes have this situation, and before we think too much, we just start one of the smaller indie titles.

Alone or Together

Pool Nation is the best billiard PC game that you can find in the Steam Store. It’s both fun, playing it alone or with friends. If you play it together with a friend, I highly suggest that the server host should disable aim assist, because it’s hilarious when the physics do unexpected things like when you play billiard in real life. The physics are well done in this game, and you get used to the controls fast. We got used to it quickly and could pot easy positioned billiard balls, but we could even do some trick shots. And then there were also situations where one of us both used too much power and balls flew over the table and we laughed hard.

Billiard Game Modes

Pool Nation comes with several game modes that you can try out. Of course the obvious ones like 8 Ball and 9 Ball, but there are other modes that I will list below:

  • Straight – You get 1 point for each pot, the winner is who got 30 points first.
  • Rotation – Earn points equal to the ball number, first with 61 points wins.
  • Speed – Clear the table sooner than your opponent, ensure that you pot the 8 ball last.
  • Killer – You get one shot per turn, your life is limited and you lose life if you don’t pot the ball.
  • 3 Ball – Pot 3 balls with as few shots as possible.
  • 8 Ball / 8 Ball UK – Pot all your object balls and the 8 Ball last.
  • 9 Ball – Pot the balls in numerical order, first who pots the 9 ball wins.

We liked to play the standard 8 Ball mode, but we tested all other modes and it turned out that the Killer mode was extremely funny. The 9 Ball mode is fun too but I really prefer 8 Ball. But there was no mode where one of us both thought “Nah, not my thing”, they all are fun to play. I suggest to try them out, wether you play against the AI or with a friend. But you should really convince a friend, because this game is so much more fun played together and not against the AI.

Minor Details

It’s a bit difficult to write a reviews about a billiard PC game, because most of you played billiard in real life. However, the game Pool Nation plays like you would expect it, the physics look great and apart from that there are no big issues that we could spot. What I still can do is talking about minor details. Here are some things that you get with the game:

  • Tutorials
  • Singleplay / Multiplayer modes
  • Matches / Tournaments / Ranked Matches
  • Leaderboard (Shows overall or Steam friends)
  • Different aim assist modes or disabled aim assist
  • Different table locations
  • Customizable balls, decals and cue
  • Box of Tricks editor / Create and edit trickshots
  • Archieves – Watch all your awesome shots and replays
  • Steam Achievements

Conclusion

Is Pool Nation worth it? Yes it is. The game is a rather polished indie title and as said, there are no big issues in my opinion. You get what you would expect from a billiard game. Pool Nation is fun alone against the AI but much more fun together with a gaming buddy, so get your friend the game too! You can get the game on Steam, which means I shouldn’t mention that it requires Steam. Pool Nation is already quite cheap, but if you are a patient gamer, you don’t have to be much patient to get the game even cheaper. You find Pool Nation regularly price reduced or in bundles for an insane low price. Check out Is There Any Deal to get the best deal! I hope you liked my review, you are welcomed to drop a comment with your opinion or you help me if you share the article with your friends or network.

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4 Comments »

  1. I know a lot of people like to play “real” games on video, but some games … and I’m betting pool is one of them … really need the big machine. It just isn’t the same online. It doesn’t feel right.

    • I played this with a friend who doesn’t live in my city anymore, he moved to Berlin. I think it’s not so much about it if it feels real or not, we play online games to have a fun time together. Meanwhile we use our Teamspeak voice server to talk about all kind of stuff while playing games. So, it’s more about being in contact. Pool Nation is one of those games where you can have a fun time on the PC while talking with a friend. Of course, we can’t await to see each other in real again, but none of us has the money to do this spontaneous or regularly. Getting to Berlin costs a fortune, it costs 120€ ($127) for the outward and return journey with the Deutsche Bahn for example. I still have friends in the city, and some in closer cities like Hamburg, but also several friends that live far away. That pretty much sums up online gaming… of course, playing soccer for example is more fun in real, and it’s sport, but playing a soccer game online on PC is no sport but a way to socialize with far away friends. That’s the same with Pool Nation and it’s a fun game 🙂 I think PC gaming (especially with Teamspeak) is like talking with a friend by phone, just with the difference that it happens online while doing something together.

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