Metascore
71

Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Aug 13, 2018
    70
    Well, obviously Pool Panic won’t please every player, for its visual style is… different, to say the least. But the others will enjoy its numerous challenges and its sense of humour.
  2. Aug 6, 2018
    70
    Pool Panic is beautiful, weird, and clever in equal measure, but it may prove too frustrating for those who don't click with its vibe.
  3. Aug 1, 2018
    70
    Pool Panic is wonderfully weird and so imaginative. While this probably won’t please those after something a little more traditional, its focus on physics-based puzzles is certainly an interesting take. Frustrating, lacking direction but with a world full of character and unique ideas, Pool Panic can be a really fun time albeit one that’s known to scratch every so often.
  4. Jul 23, 2018
    70
    A wildly imaginative and vaguely psychedelic physics puzzler with a novel pool-based twist, Pool Panic is frequently thrilling and almost never boring, but it's also mechanically suspect and occasionally frustrating. In short, it has cult classic written all over it.
  5. 65
    All in all, Pool Panic is a unique experience, though not for everybody. If you enjoy puzzle games packed with content, it may be worth your time. I never felt the desire to go back through and complete all the challenges for each stage–just wanted to get through to see what was next. Pool Panic is a fun and crazy game hampered by sometimes inaccurate or finicky controls and a lack of camera manipulation.
  6. Oct 10, 2018
    60
    Featuring some fun and accessible challenges, the game also resorts to reusing the same elements a bit too much for its own good and in some of the areas, the gameplay is unnecessarily compromised by design flaws, which is a shame. Still, Pool Panic offers some good reasons to pick up and have a fun moments, more so on multiplayer.
  7. Sep 4, 2018
    60
    Bizarre and interesting; perhaps the quintessential Adult Swim-published game in that respect, but ultimately this one is merely just a decent game that may be guilty of thinking being strange is the same as being funny. Pool Panic shows promise but is more surface than feeling. It’s great it exists, however, if only to prove that, yes, sometimes games are just plain weird, and it’s okay to embrace that.
  8. Aug 16, 2018
    60
    Loaded with problems, dullness, and annoyances, Pool Panic didn’t grip me anywhere in a way I expected it to. It has a good idea, and with some more interesting level ideas in place, the game would have been an easy recommendation. Instead it just feels wasted. It’s flat and wears out its welcome before you’re even close to done with the 100+ levels. The nuggets of greatness can still be found, but they’re just too few and far between to really keep up the excitement that the title suggests.
  9. Aug 21, 2018
    50
    Although the premise of Pool Panic sounds great, the novel ideas and craziness soon wear thin and seem sparse at times amongst the game's 100 stages. I felt the single player mode outstayed its welcome and would have been better with fewer stages and more time spent on fine-tuning the mechanics. More frustrating than fun, and don't get me started on those quick-footed colour balls! At least the multiplayer mode provides fun when with friends!
User Score
7.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 14
  2. Negative: 3 out of 14
  1. Jul 19, 2018
    4
    Pool Panic
    Just like your girlfriend – cute and annoying
    Pool panic is a super arcadey pool game where you play as a cue ball The game
    Pool Panic
    Just like your girlfriend – cute and annoying
    Pool panic is a super arcadey pool game where you play as a cue ball
    The game features a giant open world hub with over 100 levels for you to conquer
    Each of these levels are of course different and pose a different challenge though the task remains the same throughout.. You can freely aim and move around the table… your goal is to knock every ball on the table in the various holes and then sink the 8 ball and move on... sounds simple enough... but it isn’t simple…
    These pool tables are alive, not only that the pool balls are alive as well, all having their own personalities and twist to them and I appreciate this so much… this is such a cute and colorful game with a charming cast of characters
    The thing is though that this game is just not fun… none of it..
    this is less of a pool game and more of a chase a bunch of balls around a table , hope you can line up a shot in time while they’re resting before they get up and run around again… the game starts decently fun at the start and then slowly introduces new characters with new stipulations.. These beginning moments of the game are the best... but the deeper you get you quickly start to realize that the developers equate annoying to challenge
    their only ideas seem to come down to how can we annoy the player in this situation, let’s have raccoon balls up un trees that only come down after you hit a grill, they only stick around for a couple of seconds, will instantly run back after you hit them and if you miss you chance in that brief window you have to do it all over again, all while moving insanely slow with aiming that feels stiff
    Let’s fill a table with characters that hope out of the way when you aim at them.. Its moments like these that ruin the charm of the game…
    I appreciate the gimmicks, but every level doesn’t need a new gimmick... it just doesn’t...
    especially when they gimmick just starts boiling down to making the player chase balls around
    I want to set up trick shots, I want to use skill.. Not play cat and mouse
    I give Pool Panic
    a 4/10
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 5, 2018
    8
    Billiards has intrigued me since my dad first showed my brother and I a mini table with a swinging cue ball. I loved the sound of the breakBilliards has intrigued me since my dad first showed my brother and I a mini table with a swinging cue ball. I loved the sound of the break and watching the pockets be filled with the different colors. While I've never been especially great at the game, I have always understood the way to play it, as it's very mathematical. Digitally is where I typically find myself playing the game, but it's never been more captivating than it is here.

    Pool Panic starts out teaching you how to play on a standard pool table, making sure you drop each ball before the 8. You will be able to lock on to targets, hit hard or soft, and walk around. That's about all you need to know when playing, and despite this sounding boring if strictly on a standard table, you'll be pleased to know the experience couldn’t be any further from normal. And beyond the crazy levels, you'll have to learn about the different balls you're up against, as every color has a different personality.

    Giving sentience to a group of differently colored balls never crossed my mind before, but it's kind of genius. Why wouldn't the different hues have unique personalities and feelings toward the cue ball, who is basically a bully beating them up? Why wouldn't some be fearful, mean, or just simply be out to troll you? Pool Panic takes a great game and makes it absolutely ridiculous in the best possible way.

    Chances are that while you're exploring the different levels, you'll encounter some that don't have holes for you to knock the balls into. The first level I hopped into there wasn't a whole lot available, so I just started knocking stuff around. The thing about this is that nothing is as it seems; the environment was filling up places for the different balls to drop into, so I had to free them before being able to continue. Other levels will have you using mouths as the goals. Yeah, you read that right. Despite the game being made up of the same basic controls and various personalities, no two levels feel the same as there is so much character put into each, and Rekim's creativity seemingly knows no bounds. At times I was wondering if the dev had worked with Nintendo for the likes of WarioWare. I mean, who expects these living spheres to be brought in on buses as if they're going to camp, and to have the bus driver be super gassy? I couldn't help but chuckle at the amount of crazy situations this game presented, and it was pretty much always a joy to figure out how to approach each level.

    As much as the chaotic nature of the game pleases, it certainly brings with it hints of frustration, and can become annoying when you can't see the goal, or the camera angle doesn't allow you to see exactly what is going on. You'll no doubt be on the verge of going bald when attempting to finish off a level only to find yourself struggling with a character that sidesteps each of your shots - if you're not worried about the number of attempts you take, you have a few seconds after a hit where they are a normal ball and won't act out, so use this to your advantage. For lovers of puzzles, you'll likely find yourself spending time perfecting each level, but with the somewhat random nature of them, it's likely you'll give up on this goal before finishing the game. In fact, because of the ever-changing aspect, being able to finish any given level with all the challenges (which includes the likes of speed and number of hits) complete will be quite the feat. Perhaps the biggest draw to the game is its multiplayer shenanigans, which will undoubtedly steal the show at many future parties.

    Pool Panic is a game that absolutely deserves the Adult Swim Games seal of approval. The craziness in level design and characters are something you'd expect from the likes of a Rick and Morty universe. With a fairly robust single player campaign and hilariously fun multiplayer, the frustrations you'll encounter are often outweighed once you walk away from the game for a bit. If you need a laugh after work, or you want to play something with your friends and family, this will do the trick.
    Full Review »
  3. Jul 20, 2018
    8
    If Golf Story was the perfect melding of golf and traditional JRPG - than consider Pool Panic as the likewise impeccable mix of traditionalIf Golf Story was the perfect melding of golf and traditional JRPG - than consider Pool Panic as the likewise impeccable mix of traditional arcade pool games and adventure/puzzle platformer.

    The latter is developed by Adult Swim Games, and like most of their fare the game tends to favor the weird and wonderful comedy associated with the brand. Adult Swim Games is very hit or miss, with more of a presence on mobile platforms due to the simplicity of most of their games.

    Pool Panic manages to shed the trend of favoring mobile in many successful ways. Adding an engaging over-world and deep puzzle mechanics in later stages. The main goal is always the same, clear the level of all pool balls by running around and using a life sized pool stick to launch yourself at unsuspecting peers. The caveat is the 8-ball, which must be saved for last but will constantly harass the player as you try to complete a level.

    The formula works to great avail, with very few complaints. They are listed below:

    1. Sound is lackluster. Effects are good enough, with typical sounds of a cue cracking ball, and panicky noises coming from the other pool balls as you launch them around. However, it is redundant, and the game does little to add worthwhile stage music or ambient noise to keep things interesting.

    2. Difficulty. It's not a lack there-of or too much, rather the game does a poor job of explaining new mechanics to the player. While typically I don't mind some "trial by fire" in learning a game, some levels have you working against time sensitive goals, or require something different to 100%. It means back-tracking or playing a second run becomes slightly more enticing as you'll be ready for anything - but by itself doesn't warrant several play-through's, so it ends up being more of an annoyance than adding anything worthwhile to the mechanics.

    Overall its a nice pick-up for the price, and a console exclusive to Switch. If you are looking for a charming experience you can't find on PS4 or Xbox, you can do much worse than Pool Panic.

    *EDIT* I increased my score by a couple points, as I was very pleasantly surprised by both the sheer variety in level design (stagnancy is almost no issue), and the enjoyable 2-player mode which was overlooked in my initial review. Typically I feel these to be "tacked on" in games like Pool Panic that favor a platforming or puzzle mechanic, but I was surprised at how well it fit within the confines of the game. Definitely worth another couple of brownie points in the review.

    8/10
    Full Review »