Pool Panic turns the classic game of pool on its head, launching balls from the table onto almost every other type of environment you could imagine. Play through more than 100 unique levels sprawling across a world of ruins, deserts, farms, factories, mines, theme parks, ski resorts, suburbs, and much more.
After a quick tutorial, control an impish cue ball working to sink its fellow pool balls, whose colors often correspond with their unique quirks and behaviors. (The scaredy-cat ball is yellow. Go figure.) There are dozens of unique ball types, some more challenging to sink than others.
Pool Panic plays like a puzzle-oriented adventure, and aside from a few core factors, it really doesn’t play like pool. (If a realistic pool simulator is what you’re looking for, Pool Panic isn’t that.) The puzzle factor comes into play with the levels’ challenging environments paired with a range of billiard ball behavior.
While this ain’t your average game of pool, basic elements of the classic game do remain, and you’ll still need to guide the colored balls into the pockets, sinking the eight-ball last. Then you’ll jump into whatever pocket the eight-ball went into, and it’ll be time for your next challenge.
Pool Panic isn’t terribly difficult, but it sometimes sets unrealistic goals, like beating a level within a time limit, sinking balls with a certain number of strokes, and avoiding hitting yourself or your eight-ball into a pocket prematurely. But you’re not required to accomplish these goals, so they don’t affect your progression in any way.
As you progress through the game’s 100 levels, you’ll unlock new modes of play, including a harder version of the base game and a co-op option. When you consider this alongside the game’s varied gameplay, it’s clear that Pool Panic offers a significant replayability factor.
The controls take some getting used to, but they’re fairly intuitive. Aim with the right joystick, move with the left, and shoot with R and ZR. Aim at a target for several seconds and you’ll lock onto it, and you can walk while locked on to adjust for a perfect shot.
Pool Panic features hand-drawn graphics that pop with their unique style, colors, and vibrancy. These graphics are a perfect match for the game’s music, which varies from quirky, upbeat tunes to groovy, psychedelic jams. In fact, Pool Panic’s sounds and sights might just be its strongest suit.
Pool Panic is the perfect game for a wide audience, offering a sprawling, vibrant world with staggering diversity and impressive design. You’ll find loads of content and tons of replayability for the fair price of $14.99. Just don’t expect to find a realistic pool simulator here.
Platform – Nintendo Switch eShop Download
Publisher – Adult Swim Games
Developer – Rekim
Price – $14.99
Genre – Adventure, Multiplayer, Party, Puzzle
Size – 2.3 GB
Nick and Sarah are the ultimate gaming couple. Nick is a Super Mario Maker 2 enthusiast, but working with Nintendeal has fostered a love for tough-as-nails indies such as Enter the Gungeon, Celeste, and Cuphead. Sarah prefers sim games like Animal Crossing, Don’t Starve, and Stardew Valley, but she challenges herself by grinding Slay the Spire from time to time.