IndieTrials
Balls
Developed by Vagabond1982uk
Released on April 30th 2011
Sold on XBLIG for 80 MSP
Review details
Reviewed on October 9th 2011 by Martin Caine
First impressions
The box art for the game is pretty nice showing a shot of a pool table and clear shots of avatars for those who like games with avatars in. The first few load screens and menus seem pretty well designed and smooth and the bar environment looks very nice and well modelled. The pool table itself also looks well designed and well lit, this is definitely a great looking game!
Trial experience
Upon starting the game you have a few nice on-screen prompts telling you exactly what to do and it's a nice way to quickly take your break shot. The controls feel pretty smooth and you have the usual variety of shots that all pool games should contain. The guide line seems to work well and is styled very much like the ones seen in some of the retail pool and snooker games.

After playing for a short while there are a few things that don't feel so great about the game. First is the sound made when the balls make contact, it's pretty much the same sound all the time which makes the game feel very unrealistic. The momentum on the balls sometimes does not feel realistic either, but these are relatively minor points. The music in the game is a little weird but does serve as suitable background music. The sound of the cue hitting the cueball also doesn't sound quite right, almost like a mis-hit.

The camera controls seem a little odd at first, there were occasions where I couldn't see what was going on and adjusting the view to my liking took a little time.

The message continuously popping up telling me to adjust my HUD was very annoying. There is absolutely no reason for this and you should be accomodating for those people who have particularly bad TVs by using the documented safe area guidelines.

The trial ended before I'd even finished my first game.
Overall thoughts
The game was enjoyable but the few minor things I didn't like about the game did stand out. The game looks good and plays relatively well but in a pool game, the simulation and playing experience should always come first, and not the graphics or look of the game.
Rating