Pool with pixels, from classic games to virtual reality

People have been playing billiard games of one form or another for over 200 years, and while there are several pool variants that players enjoy in bars and clubs around the world these days, it’s the simplicity of the core game that makes it so enduringly popular. Quite literally anyone can pick up a cue and take part.

Just like any popular sport or leisure activity, pool has found its way to the colourful world of pixels. As video game technology has improved over the years, so has the level of immersion and realism on offer, although all aim to capture the essence of what makes pool such a simple and fun game to play.

We take a look at two different generations of pool video games, from the early nineties to the present day.

Arcade Pool and online casinos

When it was released in 1994, games publisher Team17 had an instant hit on their hands with Arcade Pool on the Commodore Amiga. Based on a simple top-down view, it was one of the first games to accurately simulate the physics of ball movement on the table. It also included several different variants of the game, plus the standard UK red and yellow ball colors, or the circles and stripes we’re more familiar with in North America.

Image Source: @GenericDemon via Twitter

Due to the rise in popularity of games of skill, rather than just those of chance, different variants of the classic top-down view game inspired by Arcade Pool also feature increasingly at online casinos, such as those which review and compare. Likewise, pool themed mini-games and trick shots are often featured in slots, usually as a chance to win extra prizes when spinning the reels.

Pool Nation VR

Whether it’s just a trend or a sign of things to come, virtual reality in video gaming is certainly making a big impression. Cherry Pop Games have attempted to embrace the bar and club experience with Pool Nation VR, released on the PlayStation VR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Indeed, the game itself has met with very positive reviews from sites like VR Focus, suggesting that it’s set a new benchmark as “one of the most complete and well presented” VR games.

All the most popular rule sets are featured, such as 8 ball and 9 ball, with the option to play solo or in multiplayer tournaments online, which is appealing to those who can’t hit the road and play. Amusingly, for those who get frustrated and hate losing at pool, players can also ‘virtually’ throw around beer bottles and chairs; or try their hand at alternative pub games like darts or air hockey.

So, whether it’s online slots, casino games or your old-school arcade titles, there’s something for all kinds of pool lovers out there.

Related Articles

Back to top button