Out of all of ForeVR’s releases on the Meta Quest 2, I’ve been the most excited for ForeVR Pool. The team has already proven they can transition sport to the world of virtual reality with their enjoyable efforts in bowling, darts, and cornhole, so I went into this one with reasonably high expectations. And you know what? For the most part, they’ve been met, though a lack of variety and some niggling issues do prevent it from the being the ‘must play’ pool escapade I think it could be.
Check out some screenshots down below:
ForeVR Pool offers a realistic pool experience, with players having to shuffle across the pool table, line up their shots, and apply spin and power to execute the perfect hit. It utilises realistic ball physics based upon where you hit the ball and how hard you hit it, whilst ball collisions react as you’d expect them to. It’s fairly straightforward to line up shots too, with a simple combination of utilising motion controls to control the cue and pressing a few buttons to fine-tune shots ensuring the game is easy to pick up and play. There are a variety of assist settings on offer to show the shot trajectory too, so you can fine-tune your experience when learnings the ins-and-outs of playing. I won’t go into the finer details here because it’s better to be experienced in-game, but it’s comfortable and it’s pretty easy to line up some slick pots quite quickly.
However, whilst the controls are accessible, I’d be lying if I said they felt fully realistic. Rather than lining up the cue from the side of my body like I would in real-life, I often found I had to place my cue holding hand directly in front of me to aim and hit shots. Whilst you can play around a little bit to make it feel more realistic, I felt like I was lining up my shots in the way that the game WANTED me to as opposed to what felt natural for me. It’s not a problem and didn’t make the game less fun to play, but it did make it feel a little less immersive when compared to ForeVR’s other releases.
“ForeVR Pool is as much a social experience as it is a gaming one and it really feels like the perfect way to spend time with friends in virtual reality.”
Currently, there’s only one set of rules to play in the game, with American 8-Ball taking the lead (or ‘spots and stripes’ if you’re unfamiliar with the sport). I’ve put plenty of hours into the mode so far and had a lot of fun with it, but I’m eager to see a few more included – things like 8-Ball (UK Rules), 9-Ball, and Killer feel like especially notable absentees, whilst it’d be cool to see some mini-games involving trick shots included too. There’s a lot of potential for ForeVR Pool to keep expanding in the future, with the current offering admittedly feeling a little slim.
ForeVR Pool is at its very best when played with others, with the game offering one-versus-one showdowns with in-game currency put on the line as an additional wager if you fancy a gamble. Two-versus-two is coming soon, but it’s not available at the time of writing. Much like every other ForeVR release, the multiplayer is a real hit and I found myself losing hours playing with both friends and strangers. The variety of pool halls you can unlock bring a really fun atmosphere to the experience (and even offer quirky little mini-games to play), whilst having a jukebox blast out your favourite music gives the game some real party vibes. ForeVR Pool is as much a social experience as it is a gaming one and it really feels like the perfect way to spend time with friends in virtual reality.
Check out some screenshots down below:
Those who’d rather play solo will be glad to see there are some AI opponents to face off against too, with each offering a stern test to keep players busy. The only catch? Their animations between shots are annoying and slow down the pace of the game. Whilst it’s comical to see friends celebrating their pots or goading you when you miss, it’s not so charming when it’s the AI and you have to wait through it.
I’d be lying if I said ForeVR Pool was perfect, but I’ve still had a really fun time playing it so far. The pool itself is addictive and realistic, whilst unlocking cues, levelling up, and visiting other pool halls ensures there’s plenty to keep players hooked in. Climbing up the leader boards is equally rewarding, but simply getting to play some pool with friends has offered more than enough to make the game feel worthwhile. I just wish it offered a few more game modes to keep the experience interesting – with the Mosconi Cup on TV right now, there’s nothing I’d like more than to play a bit of 9-Ball…
ForeVR Pool Review
ForeVR Pool is an enjoyable pool experience that’s fun to play with friends, but a lack of game modes does hold it back right now. I’m a big fan of 9-Ball and Killer, so not being able to play those is a bit of a shame; thankfully, the developers have proven they’re always willing to add more content in the past, so hopefully we’ll see some additions sooner rather than later. There are some other quirks like some unnatural (albeit effective) controls and some annoying AI opponents, but there’s nothing in ForeVR Pool that feels bad. In fact, I’m having a LOT of fun playing – it just needs a few more additions and minor fixes to make it reach its full potential.
Platform(s): Meta Quest 2 (Reviewed)