The arcade pool game made its worldwide debut today on iOS, and it shows that lone developers can still be players in the ever-expanding mobile market. Mobile games are a $70 billion market, accounting for about half of the global $137.9 billion game market, according to market researcher Newzoo.
Gage said in an email that Pocket-Run Pool captures core elements that makes billiards an immensely popular skill-sport, while offering something new to fans and casual players of pool. By combining a rotational scoring system with a more fluid method of using the cue, Pocket-Run is a new type of pool best suited for playing on a phone.
I played the game, and its touchscreen controls are simple and fluid. Each time you sink a ball, you get points for the ball number and the pocket multiplayer. And each time you sink a ball, the pockets rotate. So it’s not just sinking the balls that matters. You want to get the valuable balls in the right pockets.
Pocket-Run offers four modes of play, with all modes immediately unlocked with single in-app purchase of $4. In Standard Run you can learn the game and hone your skills. With High Stakes you can risk your virtual currency bank account against all manner of game conditions like the devious Cuewall. Asynchronously Go lets you battle for gold against players from around the world in Insta-Tournament mode. In Break of the Week, you can compare your top score on a special post-break table shared by every Pocket-Run Player worldwide.
“I’ve always loved pool, and when I got my first iPhone years ago, the world of digital pool games opened up to me,” Gage said. “There are certainly a lot of options out there, but finding a simple and enjoyable single-player pool game was harder than I expected. It dawned on me that if I wanted a good single player pool game, I’d have to make a new kind of pool — a variant that doesn’t need a computer opponent, that’s built around the notion of scoring and improving, of taking risks, and of presenting unique and interesting challenges. That’s why I made Pocket-Run and I hope everyone enjoys it.”
We interviewed Gage earlier this year in a story about developers who focus solely on iOS as a mobile platform. Gage lives in New York, and he has won numerous awards for his previous games, which include SpellTower, Ridiculous Fishing, Really Bad Chess, and Lose/Lose.