Billiards is one of those games that will challenge your appreciation for the insanely simple. Get the ball into the pocket. Repeat it to yourself like a mantra. In Gameloft’s Midnight Pool, like the real game, you’ll have to have a deft touch with the cue as well as the physics smarts to get the ball where you want it to go.
Midnight Pool’s basic premise is one on one billiards play against a host of zany AI characters. Each of them has a different personality, which presumably reflects their play in the field too. I didn’t get to notice it too much since nearly every opponent I came up against, I won. The game, thus, is not very difficult. Tournaments let you place wagers and winning lets you unlock new tables and (decorative) cues.
Midnight Pool comes with an aid that lets you examine the trajectory of the cue ball and the ball’s path after hitting the target. It won’t calculate any shots that have to bounce off multiple sides so purists will not think it is too much of a cheat. But the way your shots are done in this game it assumes you’ll always go for straight shots. You can’t, for example, do a spin back.
The game itself is 2D, which removes some of the unnecessary things camera troubles associated with a 3D game. The pace is generally fast enough that you can manage to get a few matches in and novices will be able to pick up the game pretty quickly. A pass the phone or hotseat play rounds out the multiplayer option.
While I never found the tournament play to be much of a draw, Midnight Pool has the same factor that other casual title hits on wireless have had. Jamdat Bowling comes to mind. I wish there was some sort of multiplayer function that would make this an almost must have. But alas, we may need to wait for the sequel for that to happen.
The one thing I didn’t get about Midnight Pool is its soundtrack. Sweet Home Alabama is not really what I usually hear in pool halls. But it was a good rendition of it.