Review by Dave LeClair
Right now GameLoft seem to be the big dogs on the block for iPhone games. I would compare them to EA, but since EA has such a negative stigma about them, I won’t. They do however bring bigger budget higher quality games to iPhone, and Midnight Pool is no exception to that. Read on for the rest of the details.
Midnight Pool has been available on various mobile platforms for a while. (A friend of mine has it for his Cingular phone from like 3 years ago.) Not a lot has changed over the years with this franchise, other than making the game 3d. However, with the it’s iPhone interpretation things have been shaken up a little bit. The first obvious change is that the game is not all touch screen controls. (Motion controls not an option, thankfully.)
On the subject of controls, they work perfectly in Midnight Pool. To aim you slide your finger around the table and line up your shot with the ball you would like to hit. To start your shot you simply tap on the cue stick and pull back until the power meter reaches a desired level, then you swipe your finger forward to take the shot. It’s a very simple, intuitive control scheme that works perfectly in a pool game. At no point did I find myself frustrated with the controls in the game. Many other pool games I’ve played on my iPhone seem to work against you rather than with you, and that is absolutely not the case here. There is a slight flaw in the controls, but it is minor, and that is that when you have ball in hand. It can be kind of hard to put the ball exactly where you want it to go, but it’s not a game breaker, and you can put it close enough to still make the shots you want to make.
There is a number of other great game play elements that are thrown into the pack here that makes the game very smooth and fun to play, such as shot lines, which help you aim a little bit. The nice thing about the way Gameloft did their shot lines is that they don’t show you the total path the ball will travel, just enough to give you an idea of where it is going to go. If you wanna get hardcore, and get no help, just go to options and turn of shot lines.
Another great element to the game is the camera. It is completely flexible. You can use a close up right over the stick view, much like what you would see if you were actually playing pool, and you can also go all the way to the top down view like old school pool games. You can also view the game from any perspective in between.
Possibly the biggest thing in this game is fact that it has a career mode. It’s not an overly in depth career, but it’s there, and to the best of my knowledge there is no other pool game on the app store that offers this. Basically you fly around from place to place and play games for money against various opponents, as they progressively get harder. Between each opponent, they give you a challenge shot, which you can choose to try if you like for a some bonus money. A problem I have with the career is that once I beat it, I could not find any way to restart a new career with one of the characters I unlocked during the career.
Visually the game looks good, but I think it comes off as a little corny. They try to make the girls look “hot,” but if just comes across as cheesy. There is also a character who looks shockingly like P-Diddy, and it scares me. All of the character look exaggerated, but the 3d graphics are still pretty, and sound is icing one the cake because everything sounds nice and realistic, and it is never annoying at all.
I’m going to make this conclusion very short and simple, this is the best pool game on the app store, and if you like pool you have to buy it, plain and simple.
I played this game for at least 3 hours, and after done playing for review I still find myself going back and playing it some more, it offers all modes of pool you can imagine, and a career mode on top of it.
Best Pool game on iTunes. Period. Buy it