Here’s the plot: a Victorian gentleman invents a new version of billiards using electro-magnetic balls. His designs gather dust for a century or so until his descendants – a pair of game dev brothers who look a bit like Chas & Dave – decide to bring their ancestor’s creation to life in the shape of Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint.
It’s a story as tall as a Victorian’s top hat, but as good a way as any to explain this minimalist take on cueism. Let’s face it, billiards isn’t exactly prime recreation these days.
The gist of Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint is to hit balls around the table so they hit other balls of the same colour. A bit like billiards, then, only the magnetism means the balls then join together. Rather than encouraging players to connect balls as fast as possible, the game awards more points to those who play with style.
There are plenty of ways to rack up points or fruit machine-inspired score multipliers. Every shot adds points, as does hitting cannons and doubles, while you can also lose lives (and points) by hitting the wrong colour balls.
While the rules – like the graphics – are basic, the game is a time vampire feeding on your desire to wring a few more points from each of its tables with a sly shot in the hope of achieving that elusive S grade.
Although it won’t take long to unlock the 20 tables, the score-orientated play offers plenty of replay value. And if you’re genuinely bored of what’s on offer, the increasingly ubiquitous in-app purchases are a click away, indulging you with alternative game modes and extra tables.