This review originally appeared within iLounge’s iOS Gems series within the compilation article, iPhone Gems: Pool, Puzzle, Music + Slots Games. Additional details may be found in the original article.
By contrast, Adrenaline Pool Online
takes a completely different approach to presenting billiards. It’s a 2-D game with a graphics engine that could charitably be described as mediocre, but an underlying gameplay engine that is actually really impressive. First, Eurocenter may only provide you with four types of cue sports—8-ball, 9-ball, and straight are familiar—but there’s also a special 21-ball variant called snooker, which we haven’t seen in any other iPhone title. We’ll leave the description of snooker to others, but it suffices to say that it’s nice to see it as an option here.
The real advantage of Adrenaline is its online component. You can create a profile for yourself, complete with a picture and a few details, and then either play against random other people online or those who you select. Plenty of people are online playing the game at any given time, so it’s easy to find opponents in the event that you don’t want to play against the computer or a friend sharing your device. Eurocenter has made matchmaking extremely simple; you’ll get play requests even before you set up your profile, as long as you’re wirelessly connected. It’s pretty impressive.
Another thing that we really liked about Adrenaline is its control scheme. Touch the screen and you’re given an aim line, as well as a transparent enlarged view of the cue ball and cue stick. You can use multi-touch to adjust spin on the ball, as well as the angle of the stick, tracking your shot’s trajectory at all times; a power meter on the top of the screen and a “shoot” button remove your need to rely on imprecise flick gestures for shots. While our ideal billiards title would give you both great touch controls and an alternative scheme like this one, if we had to choose one given the current options, Adrenaline’s would be the one we’d pick.
Where Adrenaline really disappoints is in aesthetic presentation. Unlike the other games featured today, its rendition of both the table and ball physics comes across as bland and a little slow. Similarly, though we liked the look of its menus, we weren’t really impressed by the way they sounded, or the sounds in the game itself. These are things you either have to overlook or hope to see improved in the future. We’re in the latter camp, but it’s worth noting that this title’s price is a little lower than either of the competitors we look at today, and in the right range for a game of this sort. iLounge Rating: B.
Company and Price
Title: Adrenaline Pool Online
Compatible: iPhones, iPod touches