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21May/12

Game of the Week: 8 Ball Pool Lets Facebook and Google+ Players Compete in Real-Time

By Regina Leuwer

Pool Games are popular on Facebook: Geewa’s Pool Live Tour keeps going strong at more than 2 million daily active users, but other developers benefit from the trend as well. This week’s game of the week 8 Ball Pool by UK’s Miniclip impresses with a quite unique cross-platform multiplayer approach making it possible for Facebook players to compete with those on Miniclip’s web portal and Google+ users simultaneously in real-time.

Title: 8 Ball Pool
Developer Miniclip
Genre: Sports
Languages: English
Platform(s): Facebook, Google+, Web
Launch (Facebook): November 2010
Active users (Facebook): 380,000 DAU; 1,900,000 MAU

How to play

8 Ball Pool's DAU curve since launch

Other than Pool Live Tour which has a variety of modes and different levels, 8 Ball Pool is entirely focused on the essentials and controls are ridiculously easy to pick up: Players aim, apply power and shoot the cue ball with mouse controls while optionally adding spin using the arrow keys. Because gameplay always takes place in real-time, each user has very limited time to make a shot before losing a turn to the opponent.

There are duels against strangers from any platform and friends found via their in-game nickname. Facebook friends can be invited to play too, but typical features like the friends bar and gifting are missing.
A sheer endless selection of in-game achievements keeps things interesting and heats up competition. Those achievements include winning several games in a row, combination shots or beating a higher ranked player, among others. For advanced players, winning tournaments with 8, 16 or 32 opponents becomes the main route to fame.

On Facebook and Miniclip’s web portal, there is an in-game shop which allows to purchase special cues; other paid virtual items are not available. In the Google+ version both shop and tournaments are still missing.


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