Super Paper Pool ($1.99) by One Side Software is a tabletop game that teaches you patience and focus. Even though the name implies that you’ll be playing a game of pool, it is anything but.
This game is more like putt-putt (or miniature) golf than anything else. Players must use a cue stick to knock a cue ball into another object on the table that goes into a pocket. This is akin to a traditional game of billiards. However, that is where the similarities end. The game is scored by how many shots it takes you to get the ball into the pocket, and there are plenty of obstacles to keep you from your goal.
To start, players enter the game during sunset. There are 10 tables in the Sunset round. The first few are very easy to complete. You’ll get a “hole in one” practically every time. Each table includes the par so you will know how many chances you have to earn points. The less shots you take the higher your score. As you complete tournaments with at least an “A” or “B score, you will unlock new ones.
To line up the shot, touch the target on the cue stick and drag your finger across the screen. The ball’s predicted path will appear, so you can plan exactly where to shoot. When you have the cue stick in the right spot, tap the shoot button under the table. This will lock the stick into position. Then, you can make the shot by touching the target again and dragging your finger back on the stick and then pushing forward. The speed at which you move your finger will determine how hard and fast you strike the ball.
On some tables, the ball’s speed won’t make much of a difference. But there are times when speed precision is the most important aspect of a shot. Spikes surround some tables and if you shoot too hard, it will bounce into the spikes and destroy your ball.
As you progress, the tables get more difficult to get through. You may be faced with spikes surrounding your ball, or a big block in the way of the pocket, or a tight corner that is impossible to get around. If you make a bad shot that you know will ruin you chance of getting in under par, you can use a mulligan to retake the shot. Players start with three mulligans and earn more when they complete tournaments. If you run out, you can buy more through in-app purchases.
My main complaint with this game is that the details are too small on the iPhone screen. Oftentimes, when I was trying to line up a shot, my finger would miss the target because it was too small. It is available for both iPhone and iPad. So, if you have a choice, I suggest downloading it on your iPad.
This game is entertaining, but feels a bit repetitive. I like that the tables get increasingly more difficult, which helps keep it interesting. However, I found myself distracted after about 15 tables. The price tag is about one dollar too high for the type of game it is, especially considering there is an in-app store to spend more money. If you like the idea of combining put-put golf with pool, you’ll probably be into this. You can pick it up in the App Store today.