Casual Challenge Players’ Club (PS4) Review with stream

For a $4.99 top-down billiards title, it is hard to knock Casual Challenge Players’ Club too hard for trying something a little different.

Instead of supporting standard 8-Ball or 9-Ball rulesets, the game puts more approachable, but still highly challenging, pool tasks against the player. The main mode places a handful of preset balls on the table and the player needs to sink them in a certain number of shots. Clearing each stage unlocks one Trophy until the Platinum is earn (the Switch version obviously doesn’t have Trophies). Unfortunately, you have to clear stage 3 to gain access to stage 4 and you cannot select each stage at will. 

The Versus mode is self-explanatory and is limited to local multiplayer. Black Ball is another local multiplayer-only experience that is basically 9-Ball only you can hit any ball in any order and need to sink the black 8-ball instead. Finally, the Like A Master mode is just like the standard mode except the player can also put a tedious timer on clearing each table with the shot limit. Not sure why anyone would want to do this especially since there is no leaderboard option, but hey, it is here.

Offering adjusted standard Pool rules is interesting but the overall gameplay is restricted and overly challenging due to the limited information given to the player. The dotted shot indicator is very short and doesn’t identify the angle when making contact with the other balls on the table. Making matters worse, it is almost impossible to make a connection from cross-table shots simple due to the distance, let alone hit balls with any sort of accuracy. This, in combination with the inaccurate power meter (the meter keeps going for a second even after you stop it), makes clearing each table much more reliant on luck than skill.  Plus, the balls move as if they were velcro’d the table; they almost stop in place even after connecting with a powerful shot. Hitting the ball is also as straightforward as can be. There is no option to adjust spin, jump shots, or perform any type of tricks whatsoever.

Also, the name of the game is also misleading. Casual Challenge Players’ Club has no indication this is a pool game. Also, the anime character aesthetic doesn’t make sense and this would have been the exact same game without them. There are just anime portraits when the game first starts to welcome the player; they serve no purpose at all. Also, without standard 8-Ball and 9-Ball modes, this winds up being one confusing and misleading billiards digital download even considering the budget friendly price.

Not As Good As: Pure Pool

Also Play: Midnight Pool (WiiWare)  

Don’t Forget About: the single-pak link mode found in Hardcore Pool on GBA

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

Please consider supporting me on Patreon.


Our Rating - 4


Total Score

In an attempt to make standard pool rules more acceptable, the gameplay becomes confusing, and the lack of options is disappointing.

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