The bright, touch-sensitive screen of the iPhone and iPod touch almost calls out to be filled with a pool table (well, maybe just to me). Perhaps this is why Killer Pool is the latest in a string of billiards games that have appeared in the App Store. There is certainly many to choose from — with Midnight Pool being one of the best. Killer Pool bests that app in many respects, yet still has some room to grow.
Killer Pool’s strength is its emphasis on attempting to create a realistic pool experience. The developers clearly honed in on trying to create a high degree of control for the player in order to give Killer Pool the same type of scenarios and actions that would occur in a real-life game of pool.
In Killer Pool you have control over where to hit the cue ball, along with whether or not to angle your cue. A player can move around a dot on the cue ball that controls where to strike it. A bar is placed to the right and below the cue ball for control of the shot and direction. A shot is made by holding down the bar and swiping back and forth. It takes a few rounds to get a feel for how the swipes play out. By swiping to the left or right outside of the lower box you can get better views of the table. And along with 8 Ball and 9 Ball there are several options to choose for one- or two-player gaming.
Because the focus is on the gameplay, there were some features that are left out. Beyond the pool table there is no background; only blackness. No avatars are available to match the CPU competition. While these are not essential to the gameplay, they do add a bit of character to the game when they are included in other pool apps.
While the viewing angles are good for feeling close to the action, sometimes it leaves out too much off-screen. Playing with your iPhone or iPod touch held horizontally is the best way to go and mostly fixes this issue. Fortunately the developers of Killer Pool seem to be paying close attention to user feedback, as they have already fixed a couple of glitches that were written about on the comment section of iTunes.
If you’re looking for a great pool experience, go with Killer Pool. The control and precision make it well worth your time.