I’ve been looking at a number of iPhone games lately. Some of these games take excellent advantage of the iPhone hardware and some don’t. Some are excellent ports of web games or Windows Mobile games, and some are not. Killer Pool is a title unique to the iPhone, it’s not a port, so I would expect it to take good advantage of the iPhone hardware. Let’s take a look in more detail…
Killer Pool is a pool game on the iPhone with excellent graphics and a realistic motion engine. It includes a number of variations on the game of pool including 8-ball, 9-ball, Black Ball, Killer, and OctoKiller.
I read a number of other reviews of this game before sitting down to write mine, and I was surprised that people found the game controls to be highly intuitive. For me, however, the shot controls were a little confusing at first (I didn’t know how exactly the power bar was supposed to work) and a little bit clumsy, but once I adapted to them the game is a lot of fun. I guess the lesson is that you can never assume to know what is “intuitive” because intuitive for one person, is confusing for another!
As I said, in general, I found the controls to be acceptable and workable, with a LOT of options (even setting up the amount of spin on the ball). Where the game controls really shine is in your ability to pinch zoom in/out and rotate your view any which way. In-game instructions mentioning this would have enabled me to discover this more quickly, but eventually, I did discover it and it made game play that much more enjoyable.
The action is fast, the competition is reasonable – with a variety of opponents of differing skill levels. Again, I think it’s worth pointing out that the graphics are beautifully rendered, and the snimations are quick and smooth.
There are a large amount of things you can alter about the game – the look of the game and table, sound, hints, your opponent (skill level), even the lag. It’s very customizable. You can even alter the view of the table you have. It’s all incredibly customizable. The game even plays in landscape mode (albeit only clockwise).
The game play is very good. I read that early versions of the game had the ball stopping a bit to soon, but that seems to have been corrected – the movement of the balls seems natural now – even when putting spin on the ball!
What I liked: The graphics and motion are beautifully rendered. The level of customization available is wonderful.
What could use improvement: I’m still not crazy about the shot controls and most of the menu buttons. Even though the game is fairly easy to learn, I think I would still have liked a little bit of in-program help regarding the controls, maybe a little more tactile response in the controls, I’m not sure. My concerns are minor, though.
Overall: Killer pool is a lot of fun. Even with all the customization available, there wasn’t enough depth of play in this type of game to hold long-term appeal for me, but if you’re a big fan of pool games, you will have no problem finding long-term playability. Killer Pool is one of the better examples of the genre out there.
It’s available at the iTunes AppStore for $2.99 and I believe it’s absolutely worth the asking price. A Lite version is also available for free that only contains the 9 Ball game so you can try before you buy!