Pool Arena Online gains tournaments, tickets... and 8 ball!

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I can't pretend to have softened my view that multi-player pool in a time-sliced, push-notification-driven environment can be frustrating - in the recently updated Pool Arena Online, I was still left with matches 'on' that I didn't know about, opponents who left me high and dry, and long waits for opponents in the first place. Still, credit where credit's due, if you're happy to wait between breaks/turns, then an awful lot has beed added to the game since my initial review.

It has been six months since my review, and the developer hasn't been idle, here's the summarised changelog since the version I first looked at:

  • Besides nineball there’s also eightball to play now.
  • Framerate of the game is now more constant and fluid.
  • A ticket system where you get 5 tickets for every 100 rankingpoints you gain. With tickets you can buy tables, cues, ranked matches and enter tournaments.
  • Knockout tournaments of 16 and 32 players
  • Leagues of 8 and 16 players
  • Masters tournaments where the top 32 of the weekly ranking are invited every week.
  • King of the Arena tournaments. A King of the hill style tournament where the winner of the tourney plays the current king of the arena. If he wins he becomes the new king. If the king extends his winning streak he gets 1000 ranking points times his winning streak.
  • Beatdown tournaments. These are final only tournaments with high entryfee to gain 250 or 500 rankingpoints by just winning one match.
  • Overall, Yearly, Monthly, Daily and Local Overall (based on your phone’s region settings) rankinglists.
  • A message center to view exactly when you earned or spended tickets.
  • Achievements for all kind of things like winning a specific type of tournament, clearing a table in one turn etc etc.

In other words, the full mechanics of a working set of real world competitions, with leagues and tournaments that might take weeks to play out. it's a far cry from the one-on-one immersive experience in, for example, International Snooker. There are pros and cons for each approach though.

A few screens from the new version:

Screenshot, Pool Arena OnlineScreenshot, Pool Arena Online

The set-up dialog for a new match now includes 8-ball rules (i.e. balls have to be potted in numerical order); (right) getting going with achievements in the world of Pool Arena Online....

Screenshot, Pool Arena OnlineScreenshot, Pool Arena Online

A personal view of achievements; (right) actual gameplay is very good, I have no issue with the interface or physics...

Screenshot, Pool Arena OnlineScreenshot, Pool Arena Online

Tournaments, halls of fame, Pool Arena Online is nothing if not ambitious....

Screenshot, Pool Arena OnlineScreenshot, Pool Arena Online

In case you're wondering how the developer monetises the game and its servers, everything runs on freemium-style tickets, which are needed after the initial games, when you want to enter tournaments; (right) waiting, waiting, waiting.... Maybe more critical user mass is still what's needed?

What do you think? This may not be for me, but the idea of pitting wits against pool players around the world over many days may appeal to you? You can grab Pool Arena Online here in the Store.

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store