It's unlikely that anyone would go into a budget- priced handheld pool game and expect the moon from it, but it wouldn't be hard to expect more than what a ramshackle piece of junk like Underground Pool offers up. Shoddy ball physics, useless artificial intelligence, clumsy touch-screen controls, ugly graphics, shrill audio, and a severe lack of modes are just the highlights of what's wrong with this game.
Underground Pool: Because people were tired of all those sellout corporate pool games, right? Right...? Hello?
Underground Pool offers single game, challenge mode, and multiplayer options. The challenge mode is the closest the game gets to a career mode, but it's really just a scattered collection of tournaments that unlock, of all things, more tournaments. Winning tournaments nets you cash, but the cash doesn't do anything for you, except let you buy into more tournaments down the road. There are no bonus items or new pool gear to purchase--not even new games to unlock. In fact, Underground Pool offers only two variations of the game of pool: 8-ball and 9-ball. There isn't even an option to futz with the rules of each game.
Considering how utterly inept the two included pool variations are, maybe it's for the best that the developers didn't try to shoot for higher sky and add more. For one thing, you might as well just ignore most of the game's touch-screen functions. The game lets you rotate the pool cue around the table with the stylus, but it's generally easier and less flustering to do it with the D pad. Tapping on the cue when it's positioned at the top or bottom of the screen often results in no response whatsoever. The one thing the touch screen is useful for is setting power for your shot, but even this mechanic is flawed because the game doesn't use an intuitive power meter. It's just a stick that you move up and down to determine how far back the pool cue is from the cue ball. While that might seem easy enough, there are times in this game when seemingly small amounts of power send balls flying every which way, so any measure of predictability is absent here. It probably has at least something to do with the game's oddball physics. There's a bit of weightiness to the balls on the table, but they seem too light overall, bouncing much more wildly than real pool balls do.
Another huge flaw is that the camera system makes lining up proper shots nearly impossible. You can float between a few different camera angles, but only one of them lets you properly line up with a ball on the table, and even then, it's tough to gauge whether the angles you're taking are beneficial or not. Again, part of the issue is the weird physics model, but it's tough to make much headway with these awful camera angles, especially when the on-the-table angle can't deal with your cue ball being near the edge of the table and obscures your view of practically everything.