Archer Maclean's Pool Paradise - PC

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Also for: PS2, Xbox, GameCube
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Sport: Pool
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Awesome Play Soft. Co.: Ignition Entertainment
Publishers: Sold Out (GB)
Ignition Entertainment (GB)
Released: 2 Apr 2004 (GB)
27 Jan 2006 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
No Accessories: No Accessories


It can be quite easy for a pool game to go unnoticed in a world of well-marketed fodder. But many games players will know that, even as 2D games, they can be great fun. So when Pool Paradise came along bearing Archer MacLean's name on the box, we were intrigued as to just how good this game might be.

In what is a themed pool experience, you find yourself in the South Pacific on an exotic beach that happens to be littered with pool tables. For a pool player, it's paradise, and if that's not enough, you can even play Skeepool, Darts and the original Dropzone arcade game.

But as the title implies, the core of the game lies on the pool table, and Pool Paradise demonstrates just how extensive and convincing such games can be. There are five modes of play, 11 rule sets, an array of table sizes and shapes, tournaments, a dynamic camera, 30 computer characters and some brilliant animation. It's great stuff, but that's all options and eye-candy.

To pool aficionados, it's all about gameplay. The balls need to roll in a realistic fashion and they should react to the table cushions accordingly. Sidespin, backspin and topspin must work as they do in the real-life sport, and the power put behind a shot should be reflected in what happens on the table. Pool Paradise does all this, and that's what makes it worthwhile.

In addition, the mouse play mechanic of the PC version gives players a greater feeling of control. Shots can be taken with greater precision, it can sometimes be a more skilful game, and overall players will get a greater feeling of satisfaction from the successful pot.

Pool Paradise would probably be a great game even without the underlying ball physics and realism. Awesome couldn't go wrong really, but they should be commended nonetheless. It's all good.