[Beyond PlayStation] Pool Panic Review

by EdEN, Owner

Pool Panic from Adult Swim Games has finally released on Nintendo Switch. Learn more about this quirky and fun release in our Pool Panic review!

Pool Panic is a weirdly fun take on pool, but with a twist. You take control of anthropomorphic (an•thro•po•mor•phic) cue ball that can run and jump around the pool table, which can help you to line up shots just right so that you can quickly make short work of the colorful “enemy” balls in each table so that you can then sink the eight ball into a pocket to complete your run… as soon as you jump into the pocket into which you sent that eight ball! The game does things differently when compared to other pool games on console since even the more arcade-style of the lot feel as if they had plenty more rules than Pool Panic.

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As for the game’s controls, you run with the left analog stick and can come to a complete stop by pressing the ZL button. You can aim your shot with the right analog stick and can take either a soft shot with the R button or a regular shot with the ZR button. The game will get you going with a short tutorial that will allow you to learn all of this as you put it into practice, which is definitely great. The A button is used for jumping around the table, and it is also used in the overworld to activate each of the tables you will be taking on during this adventure.

Pool Panic Review - Hub

After the tutorial, you will be on a world map from which you’ll access each pool table. Every table offers four objectives for which you can get a trophy: completing the table within a set time limit, pocketing all balls, completing the table within a set number of shots, and not falling into one of the holes – or sending the eight ball into a pocket before you have first taken care of the required number of balls. You don’t need to complete all objectives at once, so you can replay a table to get a trophy here and there. Since sometimes you don’t need to sink all balls to be able to take the eight ball home, you won’t always get the trophy for pocketing all balls, so be sure you don’t forget about that for subsequent runs!

The game wouldn’t be fun if all tables were the same, or if all the balls where nothing more than colorful balls that mimic those from real-life pool, and here is where things get a bit crazy. There are tables that, for the most part, will behave just like regular good old-fashioned pool tables, while others will, for example, feature a monument and some pedestals that will get in your way, one or more holes around the tables’ surface which can also be used as regular corner and middle pockets. You might also run into, say, one that has a car that has just had an accident and from which balls are jumping out to try and stay alive as the car burns right in the middle of the table. And that’s before you start crashing parties, visit campsites or go into a cemetery, where pool tables are no more.

And then there is the variety of balls you will run into. Of the top of my head, I ran into balls that got a bit cranky and that when approached (either by foot or when shooting the cue ball at them), would jump up and come crashing down onto the table, sending all balls within its blast radius flying all over the table, ones that would punk me and roll away with their rollerskates as soon as I made my shot, another set that would panic as soon as I targeted them and which would make them go into a running frenzy all over the table, muscular balls that would walk around and grab and carry me over their heads before throwing me, and balls that would move for no apparent reason after a short period of time.

Pool Panic is a single-player and multiplayer release on Nintendo Switch that is a lot of fun. Its art style, quirky gameplay mechanics and the great variety of “pool tables” you’ll be taking on will keep you busy for a long time, especially if you want to 100% the game. The game is available digitally for only $14.99 and is certainly worth the price of admission.

Pool Panic Review - 5

This Pool Panic review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Adult Swim Games.

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