8 Ball Pool

Following on from my Clash of the Clans rant last week, my replacement app for those spare few minutes is an 8 ball pool game. You play a game of pool against a random stranger. The company make their money by inline purchases. Although you can collect free tokens every hour, it costs tokens to enter a game. This means you are limited in the amount of games you can play. Added to that are purchased extras which I call “cheats” that make a shot easier. They tease you with a few freebies first. Finally are the gimmick frivolous purchases such as customised cues.

The clever marketing is to provide the user with a guidelines showing where the cue ball will travel before and after initial impact. This makes the game easier but less frustrating, especially against another noob who also cannot pot any balls.

Which reminds me of the only time I have played pool, at Exeter university students hall of residence. It was a 3 day school trip. The evening was spent mingling, my group of friends wanted to play pool. I had never played before, pool or any cue based game. It was my turn. My first shot ever was straight forward, a ball was on top of the pocket, I just had to tap it in.

Then my second shot. There were balls everywhere. I knew I had to hit a stripe ball. There was nothing obvious, so I just wildly struck the cue ball towards a stripe. A big gasp went up around the crowd watching, I had just done this amazing shot. I had no idea what actually happened, but the reaction was as though I was a a ringer.

But I soon dispelled that myth. Subsequent shots included an air shot and potting the cue ball without touching any coloured ball. The tradition for other players is to place 20p on the table edge to signify that you are queuing for a game. We were taken so long, the other people were taking their 20p back and leaving. I even managed to prematurely end the game by potting the cue ball, which became stuck in the return mechanism. (It was a coin operated machine which retains potted balls but somehow returns the cue ball if potted).

Sorry, back to the app. You can play a one off game, or take part in a 3 match tournament. I normally do the tournament. This evening, I had an amazing first round. It was my break which resulted in potting a striped ball. I then continued potting the rest of the stripes. My opponent was still waiting for his first shot and I only had the black 8 ball left. Unfortunately, I had just snookered myself (Do you use the term snooker in American pool?)

I wish I had recorded my next shot. I bounced the cue ball off not one, but two cushions. It hit the black ball, which went straight into the middle pocket. My poor opponent lost his 200 coins within getting a turn.

I was through to the next round. The semi final started well but suddenly it all seemed to freeze on me. I waited and eventually it came back and said I lost. A brief loss of server connection and I lost the game

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