Side Pocket

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Side Pocket
Side Pocket
North American NES cover art.
Developer(s) Data East; Iguana Entertainment (SNES)
Publisher(s) G-Mode
Composer(s) K. Suzuki (NES version), Rick Fox (SNES version)
Platform(s) Arcade, Mega Drive/Genesis, NES, Super NES, Game Boy, Game Gear, WonderSwan
Release date(s) 1986[clarification needed]
Genre(s) Cue sports
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Distribution Cartridge

Side Pocket (Japanese: サイドポケット Hepburn: Saido Poketto?) is a pocket billiards video game originally released into arcades by Data East in 1986. The arcade version was eventually ported to six home console platforms and two sequels to the game were produced. G-Mode currently owns the intellectual property rights to the Side Pocket series, and licenses these games globally.


Side Pocket during play (Mega Drive/Genesis version), showing a lit-up pocket.

The primary play mode, called "pocket game", requires that the player clear all the balls off the table in a limited number of shots, as well as achieve a predetermined score. The player earns points by sinking balls, sinking balls on consecutive shots, and sinking balls in numerical order. On occasion, a pocket will light up, and if the player sinks a ball into that pocket on that shot, a bonus will be earned in the form of points or extra shots. In the two-player "pocket game" mode, the game plays similarly, except the two players take turns; if one player does not pocket a ball or scratches, control of the ball changes to the other player.

There is also a two-player nine-ball mode.

A variety of trick shot challenges are also available to the player(s), to earn additional points or extra shots, requiring the player sink all balls into select pockets using a single shot. The player may put various spins on the ball, such as left and right english, and perform massés and jump shots.

North American SNES Cover art.


In reviewing the NES version, Computer Gaming World declared it "far and away the best billiards simulation ever published for any system". The features that went beyond realistic pool were especially praised as enhancing the game's play.[1]


  1. ^ Kunkell, Bill (July 1988), "Video Gaming World: Side Pocket", Computer Gaming World: 45 

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