The design team responsible for these snooker and pool games must worry about their annual assignments. The mobile platform has been capable of presenting some accurate and very entertaining adaptations of the ball and felt sport for a good number of years now, so coming up with new ways to develop the same game must be a real chore.
But on occasion it seems the devs do manage to make a couple of small but vital refinements to digital pool, which we're delighted to see in World Championship Pool 2010.
Either because it’s several months ahead of its time (literally), or because the remit this year was to cut away every last byte of dead wood and purify the licence into a simple, but highly polished representation of the popular pub sort, it’s hard to say. But this is as clean and accessible a pool game we've seen in a long time.
Rather surprisingly, its best feature isn’t the slick 3D graphics. What really stands out about World Championship Pool 2010 is its completely uncluttered screen. There are no gauges, unnecessary backdrops or controls obscuring your view, and the additional clarity makes it feel as if you can see a lot more of the table, even on the micro screen.
The control system is equally simplified, yet refined. Your play begins with a fast moving pan around the table, enabling you to choose which shot you’re going to take before the cue is even resting on the felt. Pressing the ‘5’ button takes you down for the shot wherever the camera stops, at which point the speed of the panning is vastly reduced for extra accuracy.
The 3D visuals might not be the game’s most immediately arresting feature, but they’re still great, with some nicely cinematic replays and very smooth, easy motion as you move around the tangible table.
The nature of World Championship Pool 2010’s refinement means it only has three modes of play – 9-Ball, US 8-Ball and UK 8-Ball – but that’s all it needs when coupled with pass-the-handset multiplayer.
Ultimately, it’s still 'just' a pool game, and if you already have a favourite of the genre installed on your handset there’s probably no need to upgrade. But if you haven't, or are looking for a fresh challenge, World Championship Pool 2010 currently takes the lead in this very crowded sporting category.