Published by OneSwitch.org.uk Monday, 24 November 2014 3:29 pm.
I've been searching for a video Pool game for some time, that will work really well for more physically disabled players (see here). RipStone's Pure Pool for PS4, Xbox One (the version I tried) and PC is not it, but it so easily could be.
In it's favour... If you can manage the left-stick to aim (hold A for fine-aiming), right-thumb-stick to take a shot (pull back then very quickly push forwards), this game is pretty fantastic. Feels very, very close to the real thing. It's smooth, looks great and with the aiming help, it's certainly easier than the real thing.
It has a good tutorial if you can read, lovely (if limited) free-play mode and "black ball" mode (aka "yellows and reds") - which is easier to comprehend and see for most people.
Downsides are the lack of an alternative control method. If you can't manage the fast transition between pulling back and pushing forwards to strike the ball, this game is unplayable. I thought I might be able to hack something up, (like Boccia here, but with auto-scanning), but without some custom scripts and PC link-up, I can't see a way to make it possible. I'd recommend Xbox 360 Bankshot Billiards for a simpler method.
Additionally, I was a little confused at times how to choose "black ball mode" and practice by myself (or in a group by sharing the controller). Sometimes the game would say it was searching for an opponent when I'd not asked it to.
The key point that's missing for me on top of the control restrictions, is the lack of a true free-play mode, where I can place any ball wherever I like, and remove and replace balls. Why would I want to do this? Well, for trick-shots is one obvious answer, but actually, it's for real vs. virtual games. I'd like to set this kind of thing up next to a real pool table. A disabled person who can't play traditional physical Pool could break off with (an updated) Pure Pool. Wherever the balls lie, you recreate this set-up on the real table. The opposing player on the real table then takes their shot. The Pure Pool player moves the ball on the virtual table to match the real table, then takes their shot, and so on until the game ends. That would be amazing... Sadly this mode is commonly missing from modern day pool games. Will update if this gets added.
UPDATE: If you fancy jumping through many hurdles and expense, this can be made one-switch accessible in turns out. You'll need a XIM4 adapter, and some blue-tack to wedge back the right-thumb stick on the authenticating Xbox 360 joypad. You can then connect a switch adapted keyboard or Xbox/Playstation standard joypad like device to trigger an up-motion to play. And it actually plays brilliantly. Sadly, this could be so much better and easier to do with a small adjustment to the code.