Lunar Pool (NES)

Lunar Pool Box Art

Lunar Pool

System: NES

Release Date: October 1987

Developer: Compile

Publisher: FCI

Genre: Parlor Games

I played a lot of Lunar Pool as a kid. Sure, it’s pool, but it’s more of a puzzle game, I’d say. There are two novel features to this game. First the fact there are 60 different tables to play on. It’s akin to something like miniature golf, but with billiards. The second is that you can set the level of friction on the table. From 0, where friction is non-existent and once struck, the balls will move until they are picketed. To 255, where the balls barely move when struck. The default setting is 32.

The second table in the game. How would you hit this?

You begin with only a few balls in reserve. You lose them when you scratch and if you go a few shots in a row without sinking and balls. You can gain more balls as you consecutively make shots and at the end of the table. Each table is basically a logic puzzle. You have to figure out the best order to hit balls and at what strength.

Graphics: 1.5

The tables look fine. You can see what everything is supposed to be.

Sound: 1.0

The music is lacking and sound effects are pingy.

Gameplay: 2.0

I like the novelty of the gameplay. It’s not a simulation of billiards, but a puzzle hybrid.

Difficulty: 2.5

You have to learn the angles and power necessary to beat each table.

Fun Factor: 2.0

I like Lunar Pool, it’s not my favorite, but it’s fun.

Overall Grade: 1.8

Lunar Pool earns a C. We’ve got Side Pocket coming up soon, which will be better?

Lunar Pool Video Review on YouTube