We've been following Anytime Pool since it first launched as a Facebook game in April last year.

The firm behind it was a mobile games developer, Distinctive Developments, so we assumed it would head to mobile phones sooner or later. Indeed, Distinctive boss Nigel Little told us so shortly afterwards.

Fast forward to late February this year, and EA Mobile reveals it's snapped up the iPhone and mobile publishing rights to the game - with both due to be fully compatible with the Facebook version.

Distinctive slipped us a preview build of the iPhone version, which we've been playing to see how it all works. And by golly, it certainly does work well.

Anytime Pool offers a choice of local modes, including single-player matches and a World Tour, and a two-player pass-the-iPhone mode.

But it's the Social Play mode that's the big draw. It doesn't use Facebook Connect, though - instead, Distinctive found its own way around linking players' iPhones to their Facebook accounts.

It involves signing into the Facebook version and requesting a mobile code, which you then tap into the iPhone game, which then connects to Distinctive's servers to match your accounts.

It's a bit more fiddly than the Facebook Connect implementation seen in Who Has The Biggest Brain? and Tap Tap Revenge 2, but you only have to do it once. Little tells us that Facebook Connect may be implemented in a future update, if Distinctive thinks it offers enough benefits to players. We suspect that it might.

Anyway, once in, you'll see a list of your current games - if any - from the Facebook version of the game - with your friends' names and an indication of whether it's their shot or yours.

See, Anytime Pool is totally asynchronous - you take shots at your leisure, meaning a match can be over in 30 minutes, or 30 days, depending on how regularly you and your opponent log in. But you can have lots of matches on the go at once, of course, against different friends.

Another tab lets you see all of your Facebook friends who have the game installed on the websites, their iPhones or their mobiles - and demand a match. There's also an option to match up with random strangers, if you're bereft of friends.

The nature of the gameplay means lag and network issues simply aren't a factor. You're left to focus on shots at your leisure, while goggling at the impressive visuals - complete with scuff marks on the table, fruit machines in the background, and more round shiny balls than any man could ask for.

Well, the right number of round shiny balls to play pool with, obviously. But you know what we mean.

The touchscreen controls seem to be working well, and the ball physics haven't given us any complaints so far. Anytime Pool is an extremely solid pool game in its own right - although that shouldn't come as a surprise, given that Distinctive has been making mobile pool games for years.

But it's the tie-in with Facebook that could make it a must-have when it's released later this month. We'll be playing through a finished version imminently to get to grips with the action and the World Tour.

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