Pick your pockets
Ice cool night-time hang-outs or simple back rooms where you can almost prod the tension with a pool cue? In Hustle Kings on PlayStation Vita, no matter where you choose to shoot some pool, you can be sure your surroundings will only help you focus on the thrilling frames ahead.
Atmospheric venues combine with realistic ball behaviour and crisp visuals to make you feel as though you're right there, lining up your next shot. You'll catch the reflections of individual strip lights in each highly polished ball, as they almost glide over the baize after being set on their way with a satisfying click by the cue ball.
It's hard not to be hypnotised by the air of quiet concentration. Tension creeps in when you miss a pocket, leaving you praying the table isn't cleared as a result. Yet as you will an opponent to miss, your mind is trained on how to get even with the next shot.
And when you do sink the next ball, the feeling of quiet superiority is complete. You can even record a replay of your finest efforts – especially handy when you pull off unbelievable trick shots.
The frame game
Pot your shots with super-sensitive precision thanks to the touchscreen features of PS Vita, and watch as your all-round pool game soars and the big bucks flood in. It's your personal pool table, available whenever you want, wherever you are.
Aim with the left stick, slide your finger down and then up on the right-hand edge of the touchscreen – to pull back and release your cue – and stand back to see how your shot pans out. Steady your nerves to ensure a smooth, reliable action – the last thing you need is a big bet against a rival falling through because you skewed the cue ball under pressure.
Find your groove by using the optional aim assist to show you where your target ball will go. Once you've got the knack of swerve, spin and jump shots, you'll be able to play your way out of any corner – and into the pocket.
Cement your status as a pool shark in a number of game types, including the classic Eight Ball, Cut Throat – in which you protect your set of red, yellow or blue balls by sinking various opponents' colours – and Killer, where failure to pocket a shot loses you one of only three lives. Other game types include Nine Ball, Black Ball, 14.1 Continuous and Three Ball. Master the angles and you'll rule the pool hall in Hustle Kings on PS Vita.
Rack 'em up
Sometimes, you'll want to stand back and admire as a computer-controlled opponent's break rolls on. Career Mode in Hustle Kings will push you to your limit, and when you reach it, it's time to let the game show you a different approach.
It's a great way to learn new techniques in difficult situations, perfect for when you head online via PlayStation Network. There, you can lay skilful new shots and outrageous tricks on the baize, and see how your friends and rivals react.
Cross-platform play lets you take on up to seven other players in a battle for Hustle Kings Credits, and more importantly, bragging rights. You can play a shot in your own time, after considering every angle and possible outcome. The game then alerts your competitors with a system message to let them know it's their turn to play. They can access their message through the game's LiveArea or via the PS Vita system's XMB Menu.
What's more, purchasing Hustle Kings on PS Vita from PlayStation Store means you can download the PlayStation 3 version of the game for free, and vice versa. That way, whether you're at home or on the move, you can always get some extra practice in.