The Game: You’ve gotta have balls if you’re going to play this game – lots of ’em. Multicolored ones too. The game is pool, and you use the joystick to rotate your stick around the cue ball, trying to angle for the perfect shot. Whatever you do, don’t sink the cue ball! (Magnavox, 1980)
Memories: Sometimes I feel the same way about simulating pool in a video game as I feel about trying to simulate pinball in a video game. The physics aren’t impossible to simulate, but there’s something about them here that just isn’t right – be prepared for some randomness as you watch your balls go careening around the table (that doesn’t sound right either, come to think of it).
Still, if it comes right down to it, I have to pick Pocket Billiards! over Thunderball! – as far off as the game’s simulated physics may be, it’s easier for me to swallow in pool. And as lousy as I am at the real game, at least there’s no such thing as a felt-ripper in the Odyssey2 version. But if there were, I’d want a payoff – something like the player’s on-screen icon throwing a fit, a la Computer Golf!.