As someone who has spent countless hours on virtual-pool games, Pool Panic stands out. With its’ main campaign, endless panic mode, and local multiplayer, there is plenty of replayability value. A title packed with charm, comedy, and interesting ideas, Rekim has developed one of the most unique takes on the classic-cue sport.

Pool Panic Review

Interesting Premise

Gameplay can seem fairly straightforward at first; simply knock the 8-ball into one of the pockets. Yet despite this, not every level feels the same. There are plenty of variations among each section, from fighting off an undead horde to disrupting a neighborhood barbecue. Each form that these stages take help to make things feel much more diverse rather than repetitive.

An interesting aspect of gameplay is the use of hats. Since these balls don’t have hands to pick up items or carry out tasks, hats are worn that get the job done. Every hat does something different, such as crawling out of a hole or directing traffic. These accessories provide an extra challenge in addition to every ball running in varying directions.

One problem with the main section is that as it progresses, the title feels more like a puzzle game than an actual pool game. This would be fine if there was an area where more traditional gameplay could be found, rather than the crazy, over-the-top levels. Still, it has been dubbed “the world’s least realistic pool simulator” for a reason. The over-the-top levels are what make it stand out, so this is a minor issue.

Completionists may also have a tough time with the game. Every level has specific trophies that can be earned from completing stages on time, making no mistakes, sinking all balls, and not going over the number of strokes given. Many of the levels can be very challenging to complete all four, but just playing through without worrying about this makes it more fun and enjoyable. Trophies do help to make each level replayable and can make gameplay last longer, which is appreciated.

Pool Panic Review

A Wacky Fun Time

There are many areas to explore in the game’s hub world. Various sections of it contain stages that are themed with alternating challenges. Each section feels alive and welcoming, whether it’s a castle, a boardwalk, or a forest, and there’s an abundance discover. It can be a bit overwhelming going back and forth between sections though. Thankfully, there is a rail system that helps to provide quick travel to each area.

Rekim has created a very unique and inspired aesthetic appeal. It’s as if Rick and Morty mashed up with a pool game spawn this title. Comedy is similar too with its’ outlandish nature and wit. Adult Swim’s influence can definitely be seen here, which is by no means a bad thing. These factors help to amplify its’ features and make the game truly special.

One issue that arose during the game was its’ control scheme. Aiming and controlling the cue ball was not much of a challenge during the start of the game when everything was straightforward. Once the game began to take off with opposing balls moving around, issues with the controls became more noticeable. It can be difficult to focus at times on a psychotic ball with a time limit or moving platforms being an issue.

Pool Panic Review

Extra Goodies

To add to the mix, there is a four-player local co-op mode which pits each player against one another to see who can sink the most balls. It’s quite enjoyable in a party setting, but what holds it back are the controls, once again. This title is best played with dual analog sticks. If each participant has a set of Joy-Cons or controllers, then it’s fun and enjoyable, but if the cue ball is being operated by a single Joy-Con, things can get confusing and feel awkward.

Another game mode separate from the story mode is Panic Mode. Gamers enter this timed area to try and pocket as many billiards into each hole before time expires. It is fun, however, it’s difficult due to the nature of the game’s controls. With everything happening so quickly, it’s tough to get a grasp on where the cue ball can go without missing all its targets. Panic Mode truly does a superb job at making the player freak out as time winds down and only two more enemies need to be sunk.

Pool Panic Review

Pool Panic is a great game that fans of billiards or Adult Swim will love. There are a few problems with the game regarding its’ controls and puzzles, but putting those aside, it’s a lot of fun. With the extra Panic Mode and co-op multiplayer, plenty of time can be sunk into the game. Anyone looking for a fun and unique experience that is perfect to pick up and play on the Nintendo Switch should look no further.

Pool Panic Review (Nintendo Switch)
Pool Panic is a great game with an interesting premise and aesthetic appeal. A perfect pickup-and-play title for the Nintendo Switch.
Overall Score8
  • Artwork
  • Level Design
  • Local Multiplayer
  • Controls
  • Puzzles
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

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