Pool Panic is a wild, outrageous take on the classic bar game from developers Rekim. It's published by AdultSwim games, which makes total sense when you look at the visual style. It’s gritty and in your face, making a visual feat similar to that of Regular Show. This was another factor that drew me in. I love the look and animation, giving these typically lifeless game pieces personalities that range from angry to nervous, to bikers and campers and much, much more. I loved the various balls designs, with each one exhibiting a unique sense of character and personality traits to match. From ones that lead on and dodge at every opportunity, to the meat head balls who just like to wreck everything, and even the shy ones that run from any potential ball to ball contact. Okay, enough of the innuendo, you get the point. The game is packed to the brim with personality that would lead most to assume it was fun, and it can be. But it just does not live up to the face value.
The level design, though, like the aesthetics, was great. The world map is surprisingly sprawling, and each region has some unique levels to follow suit. From bars and woods, to dark swamps and mean streets, there is a lot of scenes to be a part of. The more interactive ones, like the motorcycle race, take the creativity to another level. I really appreciated these portions that pushed the boundaries more, making the controls a bit more forgiving.
While the controls stifled the majority of my adventure, it clearly wasn’t all bad. The game has a certain pizazz, and it bleeds character and life. Unfortunately, with all that behind it, it still managed to be dull, and not quite meet the expectations of the aforementioned trailer. I think there is some talent and potential here, but PoolPanic is a scratch, or a fault if you will. This misfired shot just does not quite fit the billings.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 6/10
+Solid Level Design
-Clunky, Heavy Controls
-Finessing Shots Means Sacrificing “Panic”