When you feel you're good enough you can enter the competition hut and start climbing the championship ladder playing against the richer players. There are also 10 different tournament structures to win your way through as well, including replay and trick shot modes.
You can just have fun in the 'Crazy-Table Hut' that's full of exotic shaped tables with varying physical behaviour, and some of these are a right hoot in two-player mode. In all there are 11 sets of pool rules including 8/9/10 ball, 14:1 rotation, Killer, Bowliards and so on.
There's a new rule set called Switchball which is like normal 8 ball but with an additional ball which if hit swaps the two sides over.
Very addictive. And each of the 30 very different computer opponents are all represented by highly detailed charismatic animated hands that gesture their feelings as the games progress. These aren't just linear increases in AI difficulty but each one has a personality in terms of style of play.
How realistic is the opponent AI? How much work has gone into this side of the game?
Maclean: Depends what you define as realistic. We have made them all fairly varied, but ultimately the AI is as capable as the original Jimmy Whites Whirlwind Snooker, which had the ability to do 147s all day long, which of course would be pretty dull.
So we have to rein it back to ensure 20 plus hours of gradual gameplay before you unlock everything and see all the hidden features secreted around the island.
What's been the mighty Sir Jimmy of White's involvement been this time around?
Maclean: Well, he doesn't know much C++, but his opinion about 'what shot to play, how to hit the cueball with spin, and where to place a ball with power' has been insightful, plus some rule advice.
He once came up here and taught us 'the knowledge' on the five key steps to taking a good shot. Sure enough I tried it and got about five or six consecutive balls down, which is about four more than normal! It was like a mind transfer or something!
Are you guys still good mates, and is it true you have a crazy painting of the pair of you in your house?
Maclean: Where the hell did you find about that? Sheesh, must have been the article in Hello! magazine showing the 30ft high mural on my swimming pool wall, depicting a crumbling Italian temple overlooking a sunset but with classical images of various snooker related things on it!
And, yup, we have the odd pint and game of snooker if he's passing.
Obviously physics plays a major role in the game of this type. Can you tell us about some of the cool physics features in Pool Paradise?
Maclean: The ball kinetics are amazing. We have been able to simulate just about everything that any mathematician or scientist will ever calculate, so the behaviour is astonishingly real when you take any shot with spin involved etc. But we also wanted to make the game fun to tinker around with rather than being too realistic.
So we extended the range of cueball hit-points around its edges, and the power that's possible to use on it, thus allowing a greater maximum number of spin and jump effects than would actually be possible. In other words, originally it was so accurate it was boringly accurate. Now we've put the fun back into it.
When we first showed off the TrickShot Promotional video, most onlookers assumed it was some sort of pre-rendered AVI, so much so we had to put a warning message on the title screen pointing out that the whole thing is grabbed straight out of the game. Go on - go have a look!
Actually, we recently saw this trick shot movie - is there actually a separate trick shot mode or tutorial, or is this simply something that we can do in any match?