Lunar Pool/Lunar Ball

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Snooker, after grabbing a beer from the pub, you see their snooker table and have a go, despite the fact that you’re hammered and playing snooker would be the last thing to do, I got to stop doing this…look, I’m playing a pool game and it’s called Lunar Pool (also known as Lunar Ball or Runa Boru in Japan), developed by Compile and published by Pony Inc. (really, it’s published by ponies), it’s a pool game but has some elements of miniature golf.

So the basis of the game is to knock all the balls into a pocket using a crosshair cue ball. Each stage have different designs and it gets harder every level and later levels show the aspects of miniature golf as I said earlier, which gives it the element of challenge. There are 60 levels to choose from at the beginning of the game and you can adjust the friction, this is great but someone can beat level 60 and not have to go through the game so it’s a £40 game in the bin. The levels themselves are creative but at times really feel like a golf game.

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If you don’t hit a ball in three turns, you lose a life and if you pocket your own ball, you lose a life, but if can pocket all the balls without missing once, you will get a ‘Perfect’ remark and you’ll get bonus points, but I can never get that.

There’s also two-player mode and a Vs. Computer mode, and it’s the usual taking turn’s phase you see in many games at the time, but then again, that’s pool in a nutshell. The graphics are surprisingly dull looking, but it’s the NES, but there have been games released for the system that’s look great and timeless, but here, it’s not that good. The music has little variety; it has about three or four songs, while they’re a bit catchy, the level music is exactly the same throughout the entire game.

The gameplay is just snooker, aim for a ball, there’s a power bar showing the strength of hitting it and hit it, it’s really basic, but trying to get it into the hole, especially in the later levels is very challenging.

Did you know? It’s also one of those games that are always on bootleg Famicom clone systems and pirated multi-game cartridges, Power Player Super Joy III.

Overall, it’s a basic snooker but it does have some creative elements to make it unique, however, these types of games with different shaped tables are available everywhere, I even found one for the PlayStation 2 for 25p, I didn’t buy it but no one will buy it unless they’re a budding collector like me. But if you’re going to play it, it’s nothing special, but if you have it, you’ll probably play it for 5 minutes tops or play it in a Sunday afternoon.

You can get it on the NES, MSX, Virtual Console (USA) and countless bootleg devices.

Rating: 2.5/5

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