RESETgame releases multiplatform pool game Vegas Pool Sharks

UPDATE (11/14/2007): the game has turned out to have touchscreen support on the Pocket PC and Palm platforms. It works entirely differently from other pool games because, as opposed to them, it doesn't let for dragging by the stylus: if you leave the stylus on the screen, it'll immediately shoot. The other usage is (make sure you touch the screen VERY quickly in order to avoid shooting!) quickly aiming. This is certainly good news (albeit, again, you might find the touchscreen-based control strange if you've got used to alternative pool games - this is why I haven't found out how the touchscreen control works, in the first place).

Also, I've remembered the price of the game wrong. It's $14.95 as opposed to what I've stated ("at least half of that of Virtual Pool Mobile"; that is, below $10).
(end of update)

Ever wanted to play pool on your handheld device, let it be either a Palm, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Symbian or just a Java-enabled phone? While there already are some pool games for most of these platforms, new titles are always welcome.

(Examples of already-existing games:

  1. for Windows Mobile and Palm OS, the excellent Virtual Pool Mobile reviewed HERE; note that the review also contains some links to other, multiplayer-enabled pool games and is, therefore, highly recommended. Note that Vegas Pool Sharks (as with Virtual Pool Mobile) doesn’t support multiplayer. Both support high resolution on VGA devices; in addition, Virtual Pool Mobile also supports the 2700G in the Dell Axim x50v/x51v devices.
  2. for Java-enabled phones, there’re several pool MIDlet games; for example, Gameloft’s 3D Midnight Pool or, even better and more recommended, I-Play’s 3D World Championship Pool, just to name probably the two most widely known titles). See the MIDlet Bible for more info on what MIDlets are, how you can run them on Windows Mobile / Symbian etc.

RESETgame’s new title is, however, pretty much welcome, mostly because of its price tag (at least half of that of Virtual Pool Mobile, particularly when compared to the $24.95 of the Dell Axim x50v/x51v-specific one) and support for all kinds of screen resolutions. It has native support for even the highest-resolution ((W)VGA) screens – while still also supporting the lowest-end Smartphones. Two screenshots showing this:

On a VGA PPC:

and on a low-end 176*220 Smartphone:

Unfortunately, it doesn’t support any 3D hardware acceleration, but it isn’t a problem either as, as opposed to Virtual Pool Mobile, it has no 3D animation (you can’t arbitrarily change the camera’s viewpoint) and has no other, 3D-related goodies either.

Availability

The games are available HERE for a trial (ClickGamer’s page doesn’t have downloadable trials) and, as far as Windows Mobile is concerned, are compatible with both Pocket PC’s and Smartphones starting with WM2003 (SP2003).

Palm OS

It ran flawlessly on my Palm Tungsten T3, utilizing its HiRes (320*320) screen but, unfortunately, not HiRes+ (320*480), not even in Landscape mode. (Note that Virtual Pool Mobile 1.48 runs great on the T|3 too).

Symbian / Java

Interestingly, the ClickGamer page of the game lists the game having a Symbian S60v3 / UIQ 3 version. I couldn’t find a track of this on their homepage. The Java version (the trial JAR file is accessible HERE), on the other hand, worked flawlessly and fast on my Nokia N95 and had exactly the same goodies (sound, shortcuts etc) as the native Windows Mobile / Palm versions. It even (flawlessly) supports the Landscape orientation.

Problems on touchscreen-enabled platforms

Unfortunately, it doesn’t support aiming using the touchscreen, as opposed to all the other native Pocket PC (or Palm) pool games. In this regard, for example Virtual Pool Mobile is WAY better (and it offers a lot of other goodies; for example in-game music, free camera movement and career mode). However, if yours is a no-touchscreen platform (MS Smartphone, Symbian S60, dumbphones), this won’t be a problem.

Verdict

If you have a non-touchscreen device (MS Smartphone, Blackberry, Symbian S60 or any Java MIDlet-capable, compatible phone) and you don’t like the above-linked Java-based (or native, if any) games, give it a try – you might like it and/or find it substantially better than the alternatives.

On Pocket PC’s and Palm OS devices (that is, ones with touch screens), however, don’t expect it to be better than Virtual Pool Mobile – give the trial version of the latter a try first to see whether its merits are indeed worth the double (or, if you have a Dell Axim x50v/x51v, double-and-a-half times) price and, then, compare Vegas Pool Sharks to it – after all, you get what you pay for.

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