Having a few games of pool or darts with your mates down the pub, with a pint of lager in your hand and some friendly banter, can be a lot of fun, but translating that sense of gamesmanship, atmosphere and competition into a video game is a tough task for any developer. The PS Vita-exclusive Indoor Sports World by British indie developer Super Icon Ltd attempts to do just that by offering not one but four of the nation’s most popular pub-themed past-times, including Snooker, Pool, Darts and Air Hockey, all for the very respectable price of just £3.99. Sounds like a bargain, right?
Well, things start off pretty well with players greeted with a variety of game modes and the option to set up a real photo avatar, which is a nice personal touch. You can practice to your hearts content, with no pressure, in ‘Practice’ mode, or jump into an ‘Exhibition’ match with single-player and tournament modes. You can tackle 30 A.I. controlled, increasingly challenging opponents in ‘Arcade’ mode, or jump into ‘Season’ mode which takes you through 12 gruelling seasons in an attempt to win numerous cups and make your way to world number one in the offline rankings.
There’s a local multiplayer mode too, which is a nice added extra, along with a shop where players can buy (with real cash) the likes of new darts sets, snooker cues and tables. Why anyone would want to spend more money on aesthetic upgrades that no-one else will get to see is beyond us. Nevertheless, £0.79 will net you a host of swag to customise your game; and, hey, microtransactions seem to be all the rage these days.
There’s some decent game variations and customisation options too. In Darts, you can choose between 701/501 and 301, or perhaps opt for a more light-hearted game of ‘Around the Clock’, while pool allows you to choose between 9- ball, 8 -ball and 6- ball variations. Snooker also offers two options of either 6 or 15-ball, while Air Hockey is the only game that has one variation, simply requiring players to hit the puck into the opposition’s goal in order to win.
Tactical and challenging, pool and snooker are easily the highlights
You can also choose between eight different locations to brighten up the back-drops, from the typically British-styled Red Lion Pub to the very cool video game-themed 16-bit bar. Each location features a different audio track too and there’s some decent, if a little repetitive, tunes ranging from 70s funk to light rock, which fit the mood of each scene nicely.