8 Ball Pool is an online and mobile-based billiard-themed pool simulation sports game maintained and operated by Miniclip, a games company based in Switzerland, Portugal, Italy and England. As of June 2015, 8 Ball Pool was ranked number one of one-hundred in Miniclip’s Top 100 List.
8 Ball Pool offers free content and is able to be played from any computer device and runs in any ordinary flash-enabled browser fluently. 8 Ball Pool is the largest multiplayer game of its genre, netting thousands of players daily. As of February 2013, the game had eighteen million active players.
According to the header of one of Miniclip Corporate’s pages, there is currently ~70 million users active on Miniclip. Miniclip was additionally ranked one of the most ten valuable startups in Europe by the Business Insider.
8 Ball Pool takes place in realistically-themed game rooms where the player engages in competitive multiplayer matches in order to acquire pool coins which are spent on cues and other pool gear. Each game room offers different rules, prizes and entry frees but all bare in resemblance to one another. In addition, the players can accumulate experience points which are used to level up and unlock incipient game rooms, cues and other things.
Players’ avatars are shown to the top left on the homescreen and, when in battle to the side of the centre. Players can set their own targets, goals and objectives deciding which achievement to pursue first; there is no specific goal in the game other than triumphing in as many matches as possible and levelling up. When in-battle, players can interact and communicate with chat packs which allow players to contact each other using set messages, some of which including good luck, well played and sorry gotta run. In April of 2014, when Miniclip released the feature, after explaining the functions of the chat packs they added a section explaining why a free chat would not be implemented. They claimed that the idea was disputed and arose and engendered controversy and in the end was not implemented; they claimed that abusive comments could disturb players and, even if such could be reported or blocked, players could still find a workaround. Players can upgrade their chat packs in order to use different messages when playing; chat packs are purchased with bucks, money slips which bare in resemblance to the American dollar – bucks are used to buy premium cues and other equipment.
New players begin their game as a “Beginner” using the Beginner Cue. New players are given the same restrictions as high-leveled elite players, with the exception of cue accessibility and game rooms. Players are also given a brief tutorial which is used to tutor the player the basics of 8 Ball Pool.
Look and feel
Most of 8 Ball Pool takes place in game rooms which simulate real-life ones. In the room, only the pool table is visible; the pool table was designed to resemble real life pool tables. Each table has cushions, six pockets, rails and a tinted cloth (the cloth conceals the baize). All pool tables are fully customizable for bucks; if not customized, the player is given a default pool table which appears differently in each different game room.
Set aside from the pool table, both the player and the opponent’s cue are visible at the side of the pool table. Cues are not fully customizable, but different variants of cues and, in general different cues are available for purchase from the Pool Shop. In addition to this, the screen also displays both the player and the opponent’s general statistics – their level, their name, their avatar and the amount of experience points until the next level. It also shows what type of ball they are potting and how many of them are left; to the side of each, it has the win streak. To the centre, between both of the avatars is the prize money. At the bottom of the screen is an array of potted balls, the adjustable spin ball and the Miniclip logo.