Pure Pool is about as transparent as the name suggests. Voofoo Studios has recreated the traditional public house past time, sporting photo realistic visuals, true to live controls and 40 hours of game play in its extensive career mode, at least that’s what the tag line says. Is it as realistic as the developers say or are you better off grabbing a pint at your local?
Career mode pits you against a string of AI opponents in a string of matches, wins are awarded on a star scale depending on how effortlessly you defeat your opponent, playing without fault or whether you showboat – potting in only corner pockets or netting multiple on a break. Some of your opponents are pushovers, whereas the later opponents can take you down should you make the slightest error. Thankfully it’s relatively well scaled and keeps things interesting throughout.
Whilst playing you can unlock accolades through trick shots and other criteria, these award XP which bolsters your online profile. Occasionally you’ll be given challenge matches which test your potting precision or put you on a time trial.
Outside of career mode, there’s traditional Free Play, Practice and Tutorial modes which are pretty self-explanatory. The focus from here is the online mode that pits you against real opponents, the excellent matchmaking mechanic ensures you won’t be waiting long before jumping into a game and the level of competition is much higher.
The controls are relatively straight forward; the mouse aims the cue, holding the left button allows fine tuning angle and spin. The right button is all about power and how quickly you pull back, before pushing the mouse forward. This gives a relatively decent degree of realism, with an aim assist in the form of a short line which differs in width when the cue ball is going to hit the target at different places.
For example if you make the cue ball hit the target ball to the left of center, then the aim assist on the target ball will be wider meaning you will have to judge where the ball is going to go. This no hand holding approach means the table isn’t scattered in aim assist lines and allows you to appreciate the games visuals.
Speaking of which, Pure Pool could easily be one of the best looking pool simulators out there. It’s obsessed with style, from the sheen on the balls to a slow motion cinematic at the end of each match. It’s certainly a satisfying sight to see the chalk dust fly from the point of impact. Each table and the environment around looks pretty authentic with your choice on soundtrack, with an ideal soundtrack of your choice.
Pure Pool is one of the best sims I’ve played, what it’s lacking in substance it makes up for in looks and gameplay. Perfectionists will find joy in tallying stars in career mode whilst I continue taking a punt online. Pure Pool is a near perfect recreation of one of the most widely known pub sports, well worth your time!