Freebie Feelers is a series where we download the free monthly console-specific or newly released free-to-play games to test their worth. This series will contain some useful information as well as plenty of personal opinion. While these articles may not be reviews, we hope that you will be able to use them to help decide whether that free download is worth it.
This time, I’ll be playing with my balls in Hustle Kings, which has rolled out as part of the PS3 line-up for PlayStation Plus subscribers in October.
What is it?
It’s pool. You probably know of pool; it’s one of the most popular pub games in the world, and this is a simulation of it. There’s not actually any hustling involved in the game, it’s just a simulation of using a big stick to poke spheres into holes by bouncing them off of each other.
What did you think?
It’s not bad. The ball physics are reasonably good and everything bounces kind of like it should, although there doesn’t seem to be an awful lot of resistance. I never noticed the nap of the cloth affecting anything, and it felt like it was playing on a relatively smooth surface. It’s certainly not enough to put you off, and to be fair, those fine nuances would probably only make so much difference as it’s not like snooker where there’s scope for very precise shots and complex positioning.
It looks decent enough, but it’s not going to be winning any awards for prettiness. You have a selection of eight characters, but none of them are actually visible in game. Your actual character is a floating, disembodied pool cue, and you are playing against a similarly spectral opponent.
Gameplay-wise, it’s just pool. There’s in-game money to be earned from playing and you can “upgrade” your unseen character with various enhancements, but there’s not that much to say. The AI players are very good, almost too good sometimes. With my first game, my opponent cleared the table in one turn after I broke, leaving me with a stunned look on my face, and another long loading screen to sit through.
Is it worth downloading?
If you like pool enough to want to play it when you’re not in a pub then sure. It’s a decent enough simulation and there’s a few different styles of pool to pick from (Including 8-ball in both British and American styles, something a lot of pool games omit). I can’t see me playing this one again as I feel that pool needs to be played whilst slightly inebriated, in a tavern or other drinking establishment. If you take rolling balls in your pockets a bit more seriously, then you might get more mileage out of this one.