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POOL is a game that lends itself easily to the home computer and gaming consoles (of several types). It is basically
knocking balls around an arena with a baize base, and like American pool, and unlike how it used to be in hte UK,
the baize does not have to always be green - in fact there are a wide number of choices for both the baize and table.

The pool balls are also given a make-over for some of the variants, but for the main games they remain either Stripes
or Spots and are usually also in the known colours and numbers. The basic game is hitting the White ball with a cue,
this ball has a spot on it to show where you will strike it with the cue, until it hits another ball, hopefully the one you
aimed at, and pushes that ball into a hole.

To help your aim lines run from the ball you are aiming at to show where it and the white ball will go, at least the
direction if not the exact point where it will stop. This helps you to aim using side, top and bottom spin but it still
requires you to control the power you strike the White ball with. There is a power meter but I have found it is best
to practice until you have mouse control.

     

To strike the White ball you hold down the left mouse button, drag the mouse back towards you and then push it up
away from you. Of course you do this after you have selected the target ball and lined up your shot using the lines.
once you get better you can adjust the assistance you receive and then the games get automatically more difficult to
win but more lifelike.

The game is usually played with 8 or 9 balls and depending on the challenge it may be that you play turn about, where
you (or the opponent) begins and then continues to play while balls are being potted. When a pot is missed the next
player takes their turn, and so on. Or you may find that there are a specific number of balls on the table and you keep
shooting until you have potted them all, each shot you take is noted. Then your opponent has their turn and attempts to
beat your score - by beat I mean take less shots than you did, and of course vice versa. Winning games against computer
opponents often offers you Bonus games and as you continue to play so your overall score continues to mount up.

As you win more so your opponents get tougher to beat but only because they miss less than they do in earlier games.
If you play well and pot well then you are liable to win many more games than you lose, but it is still possible that after
a Break your opponent may well clear the table without you getting a look in. You are never really under any pressure as
far as speed of play is concerned, you can take your time and enjoy, even savour, the game.

I have played POOL NATION a lot and thoroughly enjoyed it, but I have also played it many times when halfway through
a game the screen has frozen or the screen has flipped to black and then the game, and all my saved scores, has been lost.
I can only surmise that there is a disagreement between it and my PC as the other games I have on Steam (and indeed on
my PC) run without a problem. I am using Windows 7 Home Premium with Service Pack 1. There is a 64-bit Operating
System, 4 GB of Memory and the Processor is Intel Core i5 CPU  750 @ 2.67GHz  2.67MHz. I am giving this information
incase anyone else has this problem or is running a similar machine and thus can let me know if they suffer similarly.

 

 

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015