I’ve enjoyed console billiards games since Side Pocket on the NES, and Pure Pool is the first pool game available on current gen systems. On the 360 I enjoyed Pool Nation quite a bit, and hope it’ll make its way to the Xbox One, but for now Pure Pool will have to do.
The first thing you’ll notice with Pure Pool is that it looks quite good. Pool Nation was very flashy and overly shiny, so it’s nice that Pure Pool sticks to more lifelike visuals. The balls, table and backgrounds all look nice and they aren’t trying to be too fancy.
The game plays quite well and making shots feels great. You have to aim from behind the cue ball (you can’t aim from an overhead view) which makes across the table shots a little difficult to sink. This makes the game a bit more realistic when compared to other pool games which make it too easy to line up shots that should be difficult to make.
The career mode is enjoyable with some side objectives along the way that keep things interesting. For example in the speed mode you’ll be given a time in which you have to sink all the balls to gain 3, 2 or 1 star. You use those stars to unlock more tournaments along the way where you’ll face more skilled opponents and more difficult challenges.
I attempted to try out the multiplayer, however didn’t have much luck so far. I got into one game of 8-ball but my opponent left the game less than a minute in (giving me a win). After that I was unable to find a match. After about 30 seconds of searching the game says there’s no one else looking for a match and suggests I play against an A.I. opponent. Hopefully there will be more people playing Pure Pool in the future, as I’d like to go head to head with challenging opponents over Xbox Live.
The only thing I can say I don’t like about the game is the mellow music that most pool games over the years seem to have. Pure Pool is a great game to play casually while listening to a podcast or watching TV on the side, however, so I can’t fault it too much for the uninspired soundtrack.
For $12.99 Pure Pool will easily sate your appetite for billiards.