Virtual Pool
Written by Shigamoto   
Monday, 21 March 2005

Can’t afford your own pool table? Or don’t you have enough space to fit one in? Lighten up, Virtual Pool will let you play pool on your computer. But is it as good as real pool, read our review and find out.

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Pool is one of those games that are very suitable to develop for computers. We have seen a number of different pool simulators for the PC, Virtual Pool stands out from the rest.

What’s especially stunning about this game, at least when it was released is the view and 3D graphics. 3D pool games weren’t that common back in 1995. Sure the graphics aren’t that great with today’s standards, but they do make you feel like you really are in a pool game. A further development of the of the graphics would have been to have a bar background or a house background so you feel like you are playing somewhere else.

Virtual Pool offers a number of modes. You can play eight or nine ball pool, straight pool or rotation pool. In rotation pool your goal is to always hit the ball with the lowest number.

The controls in the game are pretty easy to learn. To move the cue and view you just move the mouse, to shoot you press the S-key and then move the mouse backwards and then forwards. All the moves you have to do with the mouse might be a little difficult to master for early beginners, but after a while you will get the hang of it, and it’s a pretty good solution.

Virtual Pool is at it’s best when you play against a friend. Multiplay can be played through a network or on the same computer. There are also a number of AI computer players that you can challenge if you are lonely.

Actually the computer isn’t much of a challenge and sometimes you wonder if they really bothered to develop any AI at all. Some computer players just shoot the ball and rarely even hit another ball at all. At times they just shoot the white ball straight down into the closest hole. You should really be able to expect more from a commercial game.

There are one or two AI players that are fairly good. That is they hit some balls on the table and scores occasionally. However they still ignore obvious shots, and sometimes they just get some kind of brain drain where the make a completely out of the line shot.

The game has a really good physics engine, I’m not sure that the game is realistic though. The physics can be a bit too strange at times. For example sometimes balls can be put down in very strange angles. What’s strange though is that thanks for the sometimes weird physics engine the game get more fun.

I really like Virtual Pool mainly because it’s so fun playing against human players. If that option didn’t exist Virtual Pool would just have been a mediocre pool game, but now it’s much more than that.

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Developer: Celeris Inc
Related Websites: N/A
Publisher: Interplay Production
O/S: DOS
Cost of Full Game: N/A
Year of Release: 1995


Requirements:

N/A
Tested on:
Pentium 4 2.4 GHz, 512 MB RAM, ATI Radeon Graphics Card, Windows XP

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