Pool app has some shortcomings

Saturday, February 19, 2011; 4:46 PM

Billiards app has some shortcomings

Pool, a billiards application in the Chrome Web Store, lets you cue up and play against other users on OMGPop's network of games. With crisp graphics and good gameplay, Pool can be addictive, but users should be aware of some of the app's shortcomings before downloading it.

Like many Google Chrome "apps," Pool is more bookmark than app, this time to game company OMGPop's Web site. OMGPop, which offers a variety of other Flash games as well, allows users to play without registering, but those who don't register can only play matches against random players. This sort of social networking is appealing to many OMGPop users, but is not apparent to those directed to the game from Chrome.

The game itself is a solid online representation of pool. It isn't plagued by glitchy physics - the shots you line up are the shots you take. There are no unexpected rules or flashy gimmicks, although turns are timed. Players can even add a bit of English to their game, allowing for a few trick shots now and then. Users also have the option to bet in-game currency, which can be spent on fancier pool cues and other embellishments.

Registration is free but somewhat time consuming, and lets players create private matches to play with friends or alone. Even after registering, however, players must wait in between matches while ads play.

Although a solid game overall, the hassle of registering and waiting may leave some users longing for the local pool hall instead.

- Hayley Tsukayama

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