DS

North America

90's Pool

by Alex Culafi - April 16, 2012, 5:11 pm PDT
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4.5

At least they aren't porting a flash game.

90's Pool, as the title suggests, is a billiards game set in the ‘90s. We don't know which ‘90s, but the towering skyscrapers on the title screen suggest the late twentieth century (although nothing in the actual gameplay refers to the time period). It's always weird reviewing a two-dollar game, since it's quite difficult to determine where a game's quality is in relation to other two-dollar games. In the case of 90's Pool, this distinction is even harder.

In this game, it's not clear what the main mode is. There's a campaign mode, but it has no story and revolves around completing a variety of specific tasks, like using a single shot to sink two balls. There are 20 of these tasks available, but none really offers an easily accessible game of conventional pool. For that, you'll want to try either one-player or two-player mode, which offer a more traditional experience. Instead of stripes and solids, however, the balls themselves are red and yellow, though I can't really complain about a color change. One-player mode offers three opponent difficulties—Easy, Medium, and Hard—though Easy mode is an absolute joke (it feels like the computer is helping you) and Hard reeks of magical AI super-accuracy. The two-player mode offers the same experience, except between two people, passing one DS back and forth between turns.

My issue with this game is that the physics feel... off. Sometimes, it feels like balls land in holes far more frequently than they should be. More importantly, it is absolutely impossible to gauge how hard you're hitting the ball. Sometimes, I lightly tap and the ball gets hit like I was aiming for a hole across the table; other times, I'll hit the ball harder with the cue, but it connects with significantly less force than I expected. It didn't make the experience unplayable (I had a fun few rounds with this against the computer), but it happened frequently enough to be noticed.

90's Pool is completely average. The game doesn't do anything outstanding, nor does it absolutely screw anything up either. It kind of feels like a higher-grade flash game (though I used Google to confirm that it is, in fact, not one), with a similar roughness but also the same feeling of "hey, this is kind of fun for a while". At two dollars, I suppose I can't say anyone would necessarily be ripped off in buying this, but I can't really recommend the game unless someone absolutely needs to play a non-terrible pool on their DSi. And, in all honesty, do you?

Summary

Pros
  • It's cheap and fun for a few minutes
Cons
  • No one needs to play this
  • The physics are not great
  • This game has nothing to do with the 90's

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Genre Sports
Developer CINEMAX
Players1 - 2

Worldwide Releases

na: 90's Pool
Release Mar 29, 2012
PublisherCINEMAX
RatingEveryone

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