Welcome to this Fat Cat Pockey Review. Keep reading to find out whether it's the right 3-in-1 table for you and your family.
Let's get started...
As we mentioned in our 2018 air hockey table buying guide, we really like the Fat Cat Pockey. If you're trying to build out a game room and cannot afford to go for a tournament style air hockey table, then we think that this model is an excellent alternative. It's large, versatile, and has a lot to offer for the casual table gamer. The build is high quality and is sure to bring family fun for years to come.
It's one of the few decent air hockey tables with ping pong and a pool table. The one downside that we've seen is that on some rare occasions, it can be difficult to level.
For those wondering, "Pockey" is short for pool and hockey and is pronounced "Pah-Key". It took a few minutes to sink in for us as well.
What You'll Learn
In this review of the Pockey, we'll go in-depth on all that this specifics that table has to offer. We'll share what we love as well as our criticisms. With that, we'll also help you get a better idea if this table is for you, by comparing it the competition and even some of Fat Cat's other models.
Let's start with specifications so that you know exactly what you're getting:
80" L x 44" W x 32" H
Air Hockey Accessories:
Four mallets and four pucks
Balls, triangle, 57" 2-piece sticks, chalk, & billiards brush
Ping Pong Accessories:
Table, two paddles, two balls, net and post
Air Hockey Scoring:
Manual abacus style
Billiard Pocket Style:
Leg Levelers Included:
Assembly and action shots
First off, we think that the total value that the Fat Cat Pockey brings to the table is great. It's one of the few decent sized 3-in-1 tables on the market. At 289 lbs, it's a heavy duty table and not just a toy like some others. For what the Fat Cat usually costs, having the ability to play 3 games at a level that's entertaining for adults is a bargain.
We do think that if you are looking to focus more on one game, rather than just playing casually, that you should think about investing in a single-game table. As much as manufacturer's try, it's really hard to deliver the absolute top versions of each table game in a multi-game table and still keep it affordable.
Air Hockey Table
The air hockey table that's included is a very generous size. It measures in at 80" x 44" x 32" (LxWxH) which is comparable in size to some of the Home Pro models by Gold Standard Games. Gold Standard Games's smallest model, the Home Pro, measures in at 85 ½” x 45 ½” x 31”.
Now for some context, size isn't everything, especially when it comes to air hockey tables. Despite the similar size, the table we're comparing it to is designed to be a tournament-style table. Everything from the rails to the blower is designed to handle professionally-sanctioned heavy pucks and trick shots.
In summary, when it comes to Air Hockey, we would leave off saying that the Fat Cat is super fun for adults and kids, but not professional grade. If you have aspirations of going pro at air hockey, then you may want to hold off on investing in the Fat Cat. However, if you just want to play some decent high-speed games with friends and family, then we would highly recommend it.
Amazing Game Room Tip:
If you are looking for a pro-style air hockey table for home, then we highly recommend looking at the Home Pro Elite by Gold Standard Games.
Ping Pong Table
Just like the air hockey table, we'd also say that the ping pong table is decent, but again not a professional grade size. For comparison, an official ping pong table measures at around 108" x 60" (LxW).
The Fat Cat Pockey isn't quite there in terms of size, but it's not a mini table either. Professional ping pong tables are designed to meet certain bounce specifications, but again, if you're just playing casually, this isn't something you're likely to notice.
More-so than air hockey, the fundamentals of ping pong are still basically the same on a smaller table. You're still working on the same hand-eye coordination and accuracy that's going to transfer over to a bigger table. Granted, it's still better to practice on a regulation size if you take the game seriously, but from our experience, it's much smaller of an adjustment.
Amazing Game Room Tip:
If you want to play ping pong much more than the other 2 included games than the STIGA Advantage Table is a really good choice.
When it comes to pool, the sizing of the table becomes a bit more nuanced. Unlike the other tables that the Fat Cat comes with, you're likely to professional pool players on all different table sizes. In fact, this is a common point of frustration for pool players. If someone is used to playing on a certain size, switching the tables on them puts them out of their comfort zone, yet can still be considered a completely acceptable version of the game.
Because the Fat Cat is 80" x 44", it's pretty close to the Bar Box pool table which measures 84" x 42". Practicing on a Bar Box style table allows players to work with certain skills that transfer over to any size tables. On smaller tables, such as this one, ball congestion is going to be a lot more common than playing on a bigger size.
This is a good thing!
It gives players a chance to practice creative ways of striking the balls and really learn the angles of pool.
For these reasons, we like the Fat Cat as a pool table.
We want to be clear, a 9 x 4.5 ft table is the standard tournament size, but pros practice on tables of all sizes for the reasons outlined above.
Amazing Game Room Tip:
We think that you can get a pretty good pool experience without getting a top-teir table. However, if you’re really looking to take billiards seriously, then a Brunswick 8-Foot Table is top of the line.
Switching Between Tables
Switching between pool and air hockey is really easy. If you're on either of those settings, it's just a matter of unlocking the table and rotating it around. Once you're at your desired tabletop, simply lock it back in and begin playing!
Additionally, the company has a patented spindle and cord channel design to prevent damage to the power cord when rotating the table. They've also made the cord extra long for convenience.
Switching to ping pong is a bit more annoying, but not a huge deal. The table tennis top is actually a separate fixture which includes three sections and a net.
The assembly on the Pockey is pretty easy. Even if you're not all that handy, it's likely to take you 3 hours at the most. If you stay focused, you should be able to get it done in 1 or 2. The company has a great video, which we've embedded earlier in the page.
Two people are needed for safe and easy assembly. Things can get pretty heavy, so be sure to follow all of their instructions to stay safe.
Aside from what we've already covered, we think there's a two things that the Pockey could improve on to make it a more enticing recreational-grade table. These aren't deal breakers by any means, but just things that we thought would be kind of nice and take the table to the next level:
Electronic Scoring: Because air hockey is a fast-paced game, its kind of annoying to have to manually tally the score between goals. Even thought he abacus style system is better than counting in your head, it's still much better to have an electronic system that doesn't interrupt the flow of the game.
Sound Effects: In a day where we're all overstimulated with screens and noise, having sound effects on an air hockey table adds an extra level of engagement.
3-in-1 Table Comparison
At the time of writing this article, the Fat Cat Pockey is the best 3-in-1 multigame table that includes air hockey. There are other tables on the market, but they are primarily made for kids. If you are getting something strictly for a child, we'll go through some of the options. We don't want to say that they're bad, but they're not designed to offer years of entertainment for all ages like the Pockey.
Giantex 3-in1 Multi-Game Table (Foosball, Air Hockey, Billiards)
The Giantex Multi-Game Table measures in at 48.5" X 22.7" X 32.5" (L x W x H). This is a bit more than half of the size of the Fat Cat Pockey. As you might imagine, this table is built for kids.
Weighing in at 45 lbs, it's not going to support any fast paced or competitive play. The air hockey is probably the most humdrum of the bunch, as it doesn't have blowers.
We'd recommend this table if you simply don't know what your kids are going to like yet. Also, it's a great way for them to learn the mechanisms of all the games while they're still too small to play on a larger table.
See Also: Harvil 4-Foot Standing Table
Fat Cat 3-in-1 Flip Table (Billiards, Air Hockey, Ping Pong)
This table is basically just a smaller version of the Fat Cat Pockey. It measures (72" L x 32" W x 32" H) which makes it a good chunk smaller.
We have to say that we don't think that this table is a good investment. If you're going to spend the money on a table, either get one that's strictly for kids, or strictly for adults.
Because this table is somewhere in the middle, we don't think it suits either or appropriately. It also lacks the sturdiness of the Pockey.
We'd only recommend this table if you want the Pockey and simply don't have the room.
Giantex Multi-Game Table Topper (Billiards, Air Hockey, Ping Pong)
The first thing to notice about this 3-in-1 table is that it's not actually a table - it's more of a table top. The measurements of the entire thing are 36" x 20 x 7.8" (L xW x H).
At only 7.8 inches off of the ground, not even kids are going to be able to play this standing up.
Whether this is a good thing or not depends on how you look at it. For one, it's easier to store and put away when not in use. It's also possible to play the games from floor level.
Again, it's a great way for kids to learn the games, but the entertainment value is going to be low if you want to include the entire family.
See Also: Air hockey tables with foosball options.
About Fat Cat
Fat Cat is owned by a parent company named GLD Products. They have a bunch of different product lines and a strong presence in the table gaming market. Their other popular lines include: Viper, Elkadart, and Dynastar.
The company does a great job of making table games accessible to the broad range of folks. After all, the cost of some air hockey and billiards tables are more than some people's life savings. We applaud GLD Products for giving more people the opportunity to bring the table game experience into their household, especially in a time that's dominated by digital entertainment.
If you have any questions, please feel free to let us know in the comment section below. We're more than happy to answer any concerns yoou may have regarding finding the best 3-in-1 table or anything at all related to table games!
Out of all the 3-in-1 tables out there, we think the Fat Cat Pockey is the by far best option. It’s delivers best bang for your buck and can actually stand as a permanent fixture in your game room for a long time.