Should this game have been black balled?
Casual Challenge Players’ Club is a strange name for what is essentially a top-down 2D pool game with some anime cutscenes thrown in, but regardless of the name…it’s the game that we’re here to dive into…
There’s a story mode of sorts which has your character greeted with an invitation to this tournament and progressing will award you more anime scenes and tougher challenges. The game doesn’t play like a standard game of pool though, it’s more a series of levels where you are given a number of shots to pot whatever balls are on the table. Each level gives you a limited number of misses so if you use them all up, you’ll need to start from scratch.
It will take some getting used to, especially since the aiming assist only really highlights what straight line your shot will take, there’s no help on what it will do to any balls in its sights and if it’s too long of a shot, you’ll simply either need to get close to the TV, squint or guess if you are lined up perfectly. Trophy hunters will only need to complete the first 12 stages for the Platinum trophy and since the game is for PS4 and PS5, there are two Platinum’s up for grabs.
You can play a standard game of pool with a friend, but it is odd that there’s no AI option for this in Versus or Black Ball mode. Like A Master Mode has you try and win the 3 tables with just 16 strokes to pocket all the balls, the remaining strokes will be the ones that will be available at the next table, so every mistake can be fatal!
Casual Challenge Players’ Club is cheap at just £3.99, so you can run in and get your trophies quickly if you want. The anime aspect is more just confusing than anything, it really doesn’t add anything to the game and its plot is unlikely to be memorable. It works more as a puzzle game than an actual pool game, but a more effective aim assist would have gone a long way when there’s much better pool sims out there.