Review – Pure Pool

By: Louis Edwards

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Voo Foo Studios, the developer behind the great billiards game Hustle Kings, in conjunction with Ripstone games, the folks behind Stick it to the Man, have been busy working on a next gen billiards game. We headed to the pool hall, virtually of course, and racked ‘em up for some 8-ball and 9-ball. Is the game worth chalking up the cue, or is unworthy of its own felt?

Read our review to find out.

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You would think that the physics behind balls rolling around a rectangular table wouldn’t be all that challenging, but historically very few games have mastered the physics behind billiards. Hustle Kings and Pool Nation are two of the only games that seem to have it down pat. Voo Foo studios was behind Hustle Kings, so they have a head start when it comes to creating a great and realistic billiards game. You could have the best looking game on the market, but if the physics are off, the game is off. Luckily for us gamers, Pure Pool’s physics are spot on.

Upon first glance of the game loading, you may find yourself wondering if the intro scenes were shot in a real pool hall. The game looks that good. As the camera pans around and different logos from the studios involved are shown, you’ll see a pool table in the back ground that looks like you could walk up to it and start playing. The graphics for the game are as real as possible, with a level of detail rarely seen with a third party title. The felt on the table looks good enough to give you a felt burn.

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The sounds of the game are also as real as you would expect to hear in a pool hall. the sound of the break, with the cue ball crashing into that 8-ball rack, makes we want to head to the pub and order a pitcher. The contact sounds are based off of how hard balls are contacting each other, and that also aids to the realism of the game. A slight tap in sounds like a light tap in and a hard break sounds like a hard break, with all levels of contact in between.

There are four game modes to choose from classic 8 Ball and 9 Ball to Killer where you’ll have a limited number of misses, four challenges from Perfect Potter to Royal Rumble and full live online multiplayer. All the game needs to be complete is a snooker table. Compete against the best in online tournaments and matches for a place in the world rankings.

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Pure Pool also maps your DNA profile as you play creating an AI interpretation of yourself, your friends and your foes – which you can still play against, even when they’re not online. This is a cool feature to see where you stack up against your friends, without actually playing them head to head. Their DNA will have their tendencies and accuracy mimicked to the point where you are basically playing them, without the smack talk of course.

The game tracks your personal stats as you play, and you’ll start unlocking new pool cues as you move up the rankings from Amateur to Master. Playing through the offline tournaments are the quickest way to start earning that XP needed to move up, so go ahead and start there. Both 8-ball and 9-ball tournaments are available, and you’ll gain access to more tournaments as you earn more and more stars from each area.

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Voo Foo Studios and Ripstone have come together to create a great downloadable title for the PS4, PC and soon the Xbox One. Billiard lovers will enjoy not only the physics, but also the sound and graphics of the game. This is about as close to billiards as you can get without getting blue chalk on your hands.

Well done guys. Now where’s my snooker table?

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