Have You Played… Pool Nation?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Pool Nation is my favourite felt-top ball-bothering game since I spent a summer with Jimmy White’s Whirlwind Snooker back in my Amiga days. This weekend, it’s free to play on Steam and can be purchased during that time for £1.04 thanks to an 85% discount. If you enjoy pool and your answer to the question in the headline is ‘no’, this is the perfect time to take a look.

Since my review, the game has received plenty of updates and the latest version adds UK 8 ball rules, a walkaround camera, lots of fixes and a Box of Tricks containing gadgets and obstacles for trickshot setup. There’s also Steam Workshop integration (in beta, apparently) to share any trickshots you do construct and considering that the table looks like a cross between a pinball machine and a theme park on some of the shots I’ve seen, cooking up the perfect setup might take some time.

It’s worth noting that there’s a semi-sequel on the way from the developers, by the name of Pool Nation FX. Owners of the original will receive a “generous” discount though. Considering the price of the game is just over a quid this weekend, this might just be the best time to secure that discount.

9 Comments

  1. Nirimetus says:

    I’ve bought today this game and i tell you, its fun to no end, the physics are near perfection and the chalenges and AI are awesome, havent tried MP yet but i will after i get better on the control (using keyb+mouse).

    I recommend buying if you like play pool games, btw you can swtich camera view, the top camera remind me of Side Pocket from SNES/Mega Drive.

  2. Laini says:

    Glad they added 8 Ball to the game as 9 Ball is really dull to me, you basically don’t need to do anything but be fortunate enough to pot the 9-ball, at least 8 Ball has a bit more to it.
    Still no news on that Snooker DLC they were talking about like a year ago though >.<

  3. Ormu says:

    I like Virtual Pool 4 more.

  4. ElDopa says:

    Alas, Steam doesn’t let me donwload it for some reason…

  5. bonuswavepilot says:

    But do the balls sprout faces? Do bugs appear on the screen?

    • Pazguato says:

      I miss those teasing faces! XD

      With my rose tinted glasses I don’t remember any bugs. :)

  6. activity_coordinator says:

    I picked this up a few months ago and it’s really good. If you enjoy playing pool in real life ™ then this is a really good way to learn the principles of english and spin. Granted, it’s not going to give you a good idea of how speed works unless you are playing on a real table, but english and spin are just as crucial to the game. It’s nice to just jump in and play a round of pool during breakfast, or whenever you have 10 minutes to kill.

  7. Pazguato says:

    Loved Jimmy White’s Whirlwind Snooker in my 386!!! I still haven’t found a better snooker game.
    For those who played both: wich one is better: Pool Nation or Virtual Pool 4?

    Oh, Virtual Pool 4 has been recently greenlighted (at last!). Adam, I count on you to write a review :)
    link to steamcommunity.com

  8. moms says:

    Yep.. great little game.
    Just watch out for that Jimmy Kid. He looks like a kid but I think he’s just a real short hustler.