Review by KasketDarkfyre

Reviewed: 09/27/02 | Updated: 09/27/02

Rack 'em

Pool games on an older system are always a little harder to play because they simply do not have the visual flare that most modern ones do. 3D Pool attempts to change all of this and keep the game looking good as well as playing smooth. However, what you have is a game that tries a little too hard and has very little realism attached to it in the process. If you are into the pool games and you like a good game of computer billiards, then you’ll find this to be a decent addition to your Amiga collection. If not, then you’re better sticking to the more modern versions of billiards such as the Virtual Pool series.

-The Game Play-

What you have here is a game that attempts to give you the feeling of being in a pool hall without giving you the old style overhead view. Though the game does have some pretty impressive shots attached to it, there is a problem with simply playing against the computer as you are playing against something that will beat you every time. The path of the pool balls on the table is always predictable and there really isn’t much challenge as long as your angles are on. However, if you miss a shot, then be prepared to get your ass handed to you by the computer, because it hardly ever misses once it goes up to shoot.

One of the best features that the game has to offer is the ability to play with several people in a tournament fashion. Though you really won’t get too much in terms of playing different games, the ability to play with four or more people is well worth the time spent if you’re playing a tournament. However, because it’s hard enough to get people together to play a game such as this, most gamers will probably play something a little more modern and with different types of pool games. All in all, the game play options are limited, so be ready to play standard eight ball most of the time.

Control is another feature here that takes a little bit of practice to work with. Those of you who play the computer pool games shouldn’t have a problem working with the interface, but you’ll find that it does take a little work. You have to work with the stroke of the ball as well as the English that you place on the cue and then the power of the cue when you go to make a hit. The rails and the amount of angle that you have to use for your shots, so be ready to miss and be ready to make some pretty amazing shots change all of these factors.

-The Visuals-

Impressive to say the least, you have plenty to look at though you won’t find too much in terms of backgrounds to see while you’re playing pool. For the most part, the game is exceptionally smooth and the balls seem to roll fast, but there are times where it seems to move a little too fast and you’ll be blinking at the screen to readjust your eyes. Aside from that, the only other interesting factor in the visuals is how you can look at the table with either a behind the ball view or the overhead. With that in mind, consider how old the game is and you’ll find that it does a great job in giving a visual presentation.

-The Audio-

Campy music and some decent sound effects round out the roster here. Though you won’t quite get the feeling of being in an actual pool hall, there is enough here to keep your interest for longer than a few minutes. A couple of selectable songs also accompany you, though you won’t find anything spectacular that will tickle your ears. All in all the audio music and sound effects from the crack of the stick against the cue ball to the break of the rack will echo in your ears, but aside from that, there isn’t much else there. Pool game fans will probably find this to be something of a disappointment, but gamers new to the game will find it to be more than adequate.

-The Verdict-

3D Pool isn’t a bad game by any means but it really does lack the realism that you might want in a pool game. You will see that some of the shots are unrealistic, especially with the trick shots and not only that, but the game just doesn’t have enough draw to make it more than a one player game. For those with an Amiga system, there isn’t much here that would keep you from buying it simply to have it, but there isn’t enough to warrant spending too much money on it. Decent visuals combined with a standard game play interface give way to a hard to learn control and average sound making this a game for the hardcore fans only!

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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