MiRacle Pool Sinks The Shot In Quest Store Mixed Reality Release

It’s no secret that a lot of folks out there would probably love to have a pool table or other large social fixture in their living spaces. Realistically, most people simply don’t have the floorspace, or budget, to make it happen.

This is where mixed reality fills in the gaps. Digital objects and other people can be brought into our physical spaces, basically teleported in by headsets like the Meta Quest 3 and Apple Vision Pro. Getting together with friends and family from all over the world for a movie or game night is now just a tap or two away, and MiRacle Pool is a fantastic addition for these moments. This is a mixed reality pool sim from Pixel Works and the game just graduated to the main Quest store after a successful run on Meta’s App Lab.



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Gameplay

In MiRacle Pool, players receive a large package and then get to set up a virtual pool table in their real-world environment. This game isn’t just a simple pool table in your room though. It offers various modes, including classic 8-ball, 9-ball, Snooker and even some creative variations that add unexpected twists to the gameplay. MiRacle Pool also shines in its multiplayer and social features. Players can invite friends to join their virtual pool hall or compete in matches with others from around the world, or just simply hang out and chat. If you’re a competitive player, there are leaderboards and tournaments as well as mini games and daily challenges that you can participate in to earn extra XP and unlock additional in-game items such as different colored felts for your table, new and unique pool cues and even new tables to play on.

Another nice feature of the game that you won’t get with a real world pool table is the ability to resize it between regular or smaller sizes. The table also has the ability to be repositioned by just grabbing it and turning or placing it in a different spot. This is especially helpful for players with limited space or mobility, or for times when you might want to play seated.

Visual Style

MiRacle Pool has a clean and polished look that strikes a nice balance between realism and accessibility. The pool table and balls carry high-quality textures with lighting and shiny reflections making them look almost lifelike. The developers have done an excellent job of optimizing the game to run smoothly without sacrificing any of the visual fidelity, with frame rates remaining stable during my entire play session on Quest 3.

The detailed look of table and assets set against the newly improved color passthrough of the Quest 3 is a powerful combination. At one point, I forgot the table wasn’t real and tried to lean against it while setting up a shot. Mixed reality makes that happen quite easily and it’s a powerful effect in MiRacle Pool.

Audio Design

Aside from the clacking of balls and a single repeating music track which thankfully can be turned off, there isn’t really a lot of sound in this game. The audio that is present sounded crisp and realistic and added to the overall illusion that I was actually playing pool in my dining room. This minimalistic audio design makes sense, with audio blending with the player’s environment rather than trying to overpower it.

MiRacle Pool is also a social game if you want it to be that supports voice chat and during multiplayer matches I found the voice quality to be clear with minimal lag, making it easy to communicate with my friends and opponents.

Handling the Stick

So far everything about this game has been great but what about how you actually control the stick? Unfortunately, this is where the game falls a bit flat. As it is with most games like this that attempt to recreate their real world counterparts, the feeling of holding controllers in hand tends to break the illusion. Since there is no real table to rest your hand against for stability, sometimes lining up that perfect shot can be a bit clumsy and difficult. MiRacle Pool does have the ability for the player to lock the stick into position once they have their shot lined up, but just getting to that point can be a challenge at times. The game offers 2 levels of difficulty, Arcade or Simulation, with the Arcade setting giving players a guideline on the table showing where their cue ball will strike and the direction the ball they are aiming for will travel.



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One thing that could change the awkward disconnect felt in games like this would be the inclusion of custom tracked specialty controllers. Imagine how awesome it would feel to be holding an actual pool cue that’s tracked perfectly, adding that extra layer of realism to the gameplay. Now that the Locitech MX Ink is a reality as the first tracked accessory for Quest, hopefully we will start to see other tracked objects available in the future on Meta’s headsets.

Other Virtual & Mixed Reality Billiards Games

Shooting a game of pool has been something players have been able to do in virtual reality for a while now through games like Sportsbar VR or ForeVRPool, which also recently got the mixed reality treatment. When compared to these other VR billiards games, MiRacle Pool stands out with its pure mixed reality approach. While Sportsbar VR and ForeVRPool both offer a solid billiards experience, they were both designed with VR in mind. MiRacle Pool takes things a step further by taking the traditional game of billiards and infusing it with the magic of mixed reality. ForeVRPool does include Mixed Reality support through an update to the game and, while it is also nicely done, the gameplay in MiRacle Pool does feel better.

Conclusion

MiRacle Pool is a game that successfully bridges the gap between physical and virtual worlds while providing a truly unique and enjoyable way to have an augmented Pool table right in your living room. So, if you’re ready to take your billiards game to the next level, throw your money on the table and see if you’ve got what it takes to be the next great virtual pool shark. Just be prepared to lose track of time as you sink ball after ball into those virtual pockets.

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