Developer: Ninja Kiwi
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod Touch

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★½☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

There are basically two types of pool players, those who carefully line up each shot while weighing factors such as angles, velocity and table speed, and then those who simply whack the balls as hard as possible and hope for the best. If you fall into the latter camp then Power Pool may be just the game for you, as it eschews all the strategy and calculation of a traditional game of billiards in favor of fast-paced action.

Power Pool is a single-player affair, wherein you merely fire the cue ball around the extremely small table in the hopes of pocketing all the other balls. The game’s big twist is that some balls contain power-ups, and thus the whole experience is spiced up a bit. One upgrade may make your cue ball huge, allowing you to clear the table quickly, while another might set off an explosion that will send all the balls in the area rocketing out in all directions at top speed. These power-ups are the game’s saving grace, as without them this would be one of the most boring, mindless apps in existence. It’s still pretty mindless of course, but at least it’s not boring.

Unfortunately for Power Pool, after only a couple games most players will likely find the app tedious, offering little more than mindless action in short spurts. While there are Achievements and leader boards, so much of each round consists of little more than luck that a high score really doesn’t mean all that much. When a 3 year-old can easily post the same score as a 30 year-old, that doesn’t leave much to brag about.

Further hamstringing the game are the fidgety controls, which leave no room for finesse. Every shot is absolute full power, so good luck making the finer shots into corners and off the rails. Instead you’re likely to bounce the ball all over creation and chase the last ball or two around the table for a while as you try and just make the last blasted shot to clear the level. While the full-tilt speed works as an asset for the duration of most rounds, it also turns into a nasty liability at times.

The funny thing about this app is that Power Pool is already available for free at Ninja Kiwi’s website, making this version feel kind of redundant. This game is really only for those who absolutely adore Power Pool for one reason or another and feel the compulsion to take it with them everywhere they go; the rest of us aren’t missing out on much.

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