There was a time when I had games on my Mac. Real games. Not games for neo-toddlers with peanut butter and jelly fingers. That ended about 15 years ago when Windows defeated the Mac as a gaming platform.
Guess what? With my iPhone, I’m buying games again. There’s also an iPhone halo effect because I’m also buying games for my Mac. The kind my kids don’t play. The kind that sends my neighbors home early, defeated by my Mac skills.
Yes, yours truly is a pool shark, a hustler, a slender mommy of three who strikes fear into the hearts of neighbor kids who dare to challenge me and my Mac. Hustle? Minnesota Fats has nothin’ on me, man.
I’m Eight Ball Alex, the San Diego Snooker mom, Southern California’s answer to Paul Newman or Tom Cruise with a skirt, a smile, a nod, and dead aim accuracy.
Alright, we lived a block from a pool hall when I was a kid so I learned all the right lingo, the strut, the trash talk, and how to play well when the money on the line was big enough.
Those days are faithfully recreated on my Mac with MacPool, now at version 10.x, a remarkably realistic pool game featuring 9 Ball, 8 Ball, with options for 3 Balls Billiards and Snooker.
Even better, there’s MacPool’s Online Game Mode where you can actually play you and your Mac with other MacPool gamers anywhere else in the world, Mac or Windows.
Realistic? Well, remember, you’re playing pool on your Mac’s screen. The sound effects are quite good, surprisingly so on an iMac, less so on a MacBook. You’ll have to add the smoky room and spilled beer smell.
MacPool is so cool you can even customize it with special skins to enhance the table’s look and feel. Playing is easy, though not as easy as you may want. Line up the shot. Stroke. MacPool keeps score automatically, whether you’re playing your neighbor, your kids, or someone online.
Customization options are modest, limited to color schemes (hey, it’s a pool table, there’s not much difference between the 21st century version and the 19th century version). Like tables of old, you can adjust the MacPool table, and the physics seem accurate (accurate enough for me to win the Kayhill Family Invitational every year since inception).
MacPool is just plain fun. But, there are some issues.
First, the games demo doesn’t last long so you don’t get a good feel for the game or the settings unless you buy it. Second, the price tag is a bit steep, especially when compared to what I paid for similar games on my iPhone.
$20 vs. $1? Please. What’s wrong with this picture. The serial number gets registered to your Mac so you can’t spread MacPool all over the neighborhood. How does that compare to the simulated pool games on my iTunes account which go to my iPhone, my husband’s iPhone, and our family netbook iPod touch which floats in the living room.
Is $20 worth the ability to play on a bigger Mac’s bigger screen vs. an iPhone? Yes. When my neighbors go down in defeat I want them to see it on the big screen.