Last month, a pool game called Pool Nation FX launched on Xbox One as a free Games with Gold title. Unfortunately, Pool Nation FX actually turned out to be pretty terrible. The menus are so unwieldy and loading times so long, I'd rather be watching people play pool on TV. To be fair, I haven't played it since the recent patch rolled out. Maybe those blights have improved.
Luckily for pool fans, Xbox One and Windows PC already have a great recreation of the game in Pure Pool from Ripstone and VooFoo Studios. Pure Pool currently offers four pool game types: US 8-Ball, 9-Ball, Blackball, and Killer. Soon the popular game of snooker will also be represented, as Ripstone has just announced the impending release of Pure Pool Snooker DLC. Read on for details and the Snooker DLC trailer!
Pure Pool is the best pool
Why would you pay money for a pool game when you might've just gotten one for free through Xbox Live? Because this one doesn't suck; that's why. The menu text is a little small, but you can still navigate menus without much hassle. And the graphics are amazingly lifelike, far better than those of Pool Nation FX.
As a single player game, Pure Pool offers an expansive career mode. Players can earn up to three stars from each match – one simply for beating it, and others for completing side goals such as making specific shots during the game. Challenge games take place between regular tournament matches, requiring different tactics such as speed runs and precision tests.
Pure Pool brings some classy multiplayer features to the pool table. For one, you get head-to-head online play against another player. The experience of chatting with a friend while knocking balls around is very close to the real life pool experience, especially since you're surrounded by a bar filled with patrons within the game. Competition-minded players can even participate in pool leagues, battling it out against a wider variety of competition.
The game also offers asynchronous multiplayer. It builds an AI profile based on your play style, which friends can then match up against it when you're not around. Kind of like the Drivatars in Forza Horizon 2. I understand my AI profile excels at sending the ball flying from the table more often than it makes it into the pocket. I rock at pool, don't you know.
The AI profiles actually make real-time online multiplayer better as well. If an opponent drops out during an online game, the game won't just end. Instead, that jerk's online profile will automatically take his or her place. There's no avoiding the whoopings of your opponents in Pure Pool.
I'm not the biggest pool guy in real life, but I've had a lot of fun playing Pure Pool with friends. If you're into the game of pool, this is the game to get. Perhaps we'll do a weekend Twitch stream for it sometime!
- Pure Pool – Xbox One – 600 MB – $12.99 – Xbox Link (opens in new tab)
- Pure Pool – Windows PC – $12.99 – Steam Link
About the Snooker DLC
Obviously the main draw of the Snooker DLC is the addition of the snooker game type.
Invented by British soldiers stationed in India during the 19th century, snooker is especially popular in English-speaking countries. The game is played with a cue ball and 21 snooker balls: 15 reds and six differently colored balls. Two players take turns trying to first pocket a red ball, followed by a colored ball. You must hit a red first during every turn.
The Pure Pool Snooker DLC offers the following:
- Snooker Career mode with three difficulty levels: Amateur, pro, and Master
- Two Snooker Challenge modes
- Online snooker leagues
- New Achievements (and Trophies on PlayStation 4)
Ripstone has not announced a release date or price for the Snooker DLC, but I imagine it will be in the five bucks range. They say the DLC is coming soon, so stay tuned.
Do we have any snooker players in the house?
I'll wait until Windows 10 for Universal version
Unless they have announced such a version, it's not particularly likely to happen.
They did announce it.
Says everyone who just can't afford it
This is a good game for those who don't have the space or budget for a pool table, bigger the screen the better I say
Is Pure Pool the same as Pool Nation in that it doesn't matter how many balls a player has sunk it is only the person who sinks the final ball that wins? Now I'll be honest I have never played whatever version of pool it is in Pool Nation FX, so I have no idea whether they are the legitimate rules, but it's frigging terrible and is a really bad rule. Also the whole being able to dump the ball anywhere after stinking the white, that sucks too. I will need to play a demo of this one before I commit money to it.
It depends on the game type you're playing. This one currently offers four game types and they all have different rules. They're real life games, so we can't expect videogame adaptations to work differently. I don't necessarily agree that the winner being the person to sink the final ball is a bad thing. The idea is that you retain control for a long time and sink several balls in a row, all while the opponent constantly hopes that you miss a shot so he or she can regain control.
Growing up I always played the 8 ball style game (dunno what it's called) where both parties had an equal chance of winning; also snooker, which is a points system that actually goes by who has the most points. See, I have absolutely no idea why Pool Nation FX uses a point system, I get the system, but its just ridiculous that even in a five round match a player can win the whole game even if they only win one round (although in this situation it needs to be one incredibly good round) or a single round by just sinking one ball irregardless of how much effort the other player put into sinking the other 8.
Having multiple game types is good, and I would have enjoyed PNFX, if it incorporated other games; having separate careers for different variations would have been ace.
Pure Pool has all those things, btw. Separate career tracks, separate games with separate rule sets. It's definitely worth the purchase. I agree with the comments regarding how bad Pool Nation FX is. It's shockingly bad.
Win! Thanks man, I really enjoy pool so I will snap this up.
True, Pool Nation FX - sucks big time!
Where's the pool game with all the wierd L-shaped and other wierd shaped tables?
I thought I was the only one that thought the free one was pants!
I haven't tried the free pool game yet. I wonder if I even will now. Will you play this one on twitch for us?
I accept Pool Nation FX had a horrible launch. But they recently released a patch fixing most of the performance issues. I would say since its free, just give it a try. It is not as bad as it was a month back.
I really wanted the game to be great, I had huge hopes. For me, the controls and camera were bad. Needed a power bar, rather than the system they had. I found that the physics were off. Unless they play on treacle instead if felt in American Pool.
We streamed Pool Nation FX for a little while once. I'm working on a Pure Pool weekend stream; looks like it will happen.
Im not going to say pool nation is the best game out there, but I will say that it seemed a bit unprofessional to blast it like you did. I typically respect the opinions of others and all that, but it just seemed a bit too much the way you went about it, considering you're writing reviews for video games and all.
I appreciate that it looks like I was being hard on Pool Nation FX, but that's my job. I'm a critic. We're not going to review that game, so this was my best opportunity to establish our site's view of its quality while also contrasting the far superior Pure Pool with it. Also, a game in Pool Nation FX's state of completion and polish should not have been released to market IMO, especially when a much more refined pool game already exists on the platform.
You should have a column called "Because this one doesn't suck".
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