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Video Game / Pool Panic

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It's the world's least realistic pool simulator!

Pool Panic is a game about a cartoony cue ball in a cartoony pool game. The game covers a day in the life of a jittering, gurning, animated cue-ball that must explore a world of mystery and adventure, as well as holes in the ground opponents must be knocked into. Unlike most adventure games, the player does not have direct control over the ball, but can only hit it with a cue stick.

The game was developed by British studio Rekim, published by Adult Swim Games, and released on July 19, 2018 for Nintendo Switch and for PC through Steam.

Tropes present in this game:

  • 100% Completion: Played straight, as the game has more than 100 pool levels to complete, and an open-world structure.
  • All Bikers Are Hell's Angels: One level involves a race against a biker gang like this.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: All of the pool balls now have faces on them.
  • Banishing Ritual: You get to perform one on a haunted graveyard - while still staying within pool's basic framework!
  • Camera Screw: The game uses a form of Three-Quarters View that can make it pretty difficult to estimate how the balls will actually interact with each other.
  • Cartoon Physics: Invoked. For instance, as soon as the cue ball even approximately meets the hole, it'll sink inside, regardless of how much momentum it had at the time.
  • Charged Attack: Downplayed. Instead of having a power meter like in most pool simulations, there is simply the ability to strike the cue ball with soft and hard power.
  • Gameplay Grading: In addition to simply beating a given level, there are also four trophies to earn - beating the level under a certain time, finishing below a specified number of shots, clearing all the balls, and not committing a foul.
  • Traversible World Map: Here, it accomodates more than 100 levels, and thus it is so large you can only ever see a fraction of it at the time.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Some levels require you to put down a bunch of zombified locals - again, exclusively with pool's physics.