Trickshot Pool for Prizes
Trickshot Pool isn't bad, but the game's focus on pool trickshots just isn't enough to elevate it out of the pack...
Trickshot Pool for Prizes from Infospace could be seen as an extremely cynical mobile pool title. You can almost see the executives sitting around, talking about how huge pool games are on the mobile platform, and wondering how they can get a piece of the action. "Hey, what about a game built around pool trickhots? No one has done that yet," one of them would say, and thus Trickshot Pool was greenlit, right?
Thankfully that doesn't seem to have been the case at all. The game includes the standard 8 ball and 9 ball pool variations, as well as (by my count) 25 unique trickshots to pull off. Trickshot Pool's single player flow has gamers switching back and forth between standard matches and trickshot tournies. Gamers bet money against colorful AI opponents like Eduardo and Federick and then use their winnings to enter trickshot tournies for the big money.
Shot fundamentals aren't handled very differently than that of the myriad of other pool titles on the market. Gamers set their angle, then the cue ball's spin, and lastly shot power. In normal games of pool, power is determined via timing, but in trickshot mode shot power can be set with accuracy, to better allow gamers to pull off the precise tricks.
All the trickshots themselves can (thankfully) be practiced pressure-free in practice mode, but there were many of them I never did figure out how to pull off. The game describes the shot and then shows the AI pulling it off, but that's all the guidance you're given. You can't see the AI's settings, so sometimes to get the ball to behave in the correct manner I wouldn't be able to sort out whether I needed more angle and less spin, or vice versa, or something else entirely. On the other hand giving away all the correct settings to pull off the tricks would erase any challenge presented, so that wouldn't have been fun either. Perhaps Infospace could have compromised, and allowed gamers to spend their in-game cash to view one or all of the shot settings needed to pull of a specific trick.
Robust multiplayer options round out the solid single player offerings. Two players can compete (by passing the phone back and forth) in games of 8 or 9 ball, or trickshots. Online competition is available, although sadly only trickshot mode is supported. Like all of Infospace's other "for prizes" titles, a wide variety of gift certificates and other goodies are available to tournament winners and frequent players.
Trickshot Pool for Prizes is a competent and enjoyable mobile pool experience, but it didn't offer anything especially compelling to elevate it out of the pack. The trickshot focus is commendable for its uniqueness, but in practice became more of a lesson in memorization than skill. Still, if you don't yet own a mobile pool title, Trickshot's multiple single and multiplayer options make it an attractive prospect.
What's Hot: The Trickshot angle sets the game apart
What's Not: Trickshots are tough to pull off without guidance