PC/Mac/Linux
enfrdeitptrues

System Requirements Pentium 2 400MHz or better 128MB RAM 3D accelerated video with 16M RAM DirectX 6.1 or higher
If you like playing pool and want to challenge others, this game may be right up your alley. You can play solo, on a network or online. The computer AI has multiple skill levels so you can challenge yourself a bit. The real question is how well can you do against a live opponent?

Game Types

There are eight game modes for you to play. There is also a tutorial, but that mainly shows you how to do certain moves like getting multiple balls in one shot, kick shots and indirect shots. It would have been nice if the tutorial went through how to play the different game styles since I?m a novice at pool. The game types are as follows:
  • 3 Ball
  • 8 Ball
  • 9 Ball
  • Straight Pool
  • Pyramid
  • American
  • 14 + 1
  • Rotation

Foul wrong shot?

Another nice improvement in the game would have been to explain to newbies like me why I am getting a foul and have to redo my shot. I can only learn from my mistakes if I know what I did wrong. Some games types are more forgiving with fouls but with some games you lose the game with as few as three fouls (according to the rules).

Competition Types

When playing in single player you can choose to play by yourself, play with an opponent or game against an opponent. You can choose the number of games to win. As I mentioned before the computer AI has different skill levels.

Multiplayer

You can host or join LAN games. The biggest selling point of this game is the online play. You get a month free when you purchase this game for $20. From then on it?s $45 a year or $20 for three months. When I have signed on I haven?t seen many live opponents. The maximum number of users I saw was 2. You can play the computer AI online but that defeats the purpose.

Graphics

The graphics are 3D rendered and look very nice. You can have a black plain background or a nice room d?cor with a wood floor, fireplace, flat screen TV, jukebox etc. There are paintings on the wall, which you can import and put your own pictures in. I thought that was a nice touch. The reflections on the floor look good, especially near the fireplace.

Sound

The sound effects are fitting in this game but the best feature is the MP3 support. The game does come with 1 mp3 file, which sounds nice, but I like the option of using my own MP3 files. Although it remembers where it left off, a shuffle feature would have been nice to see. Fortunately there is a little toolbar on the left hand side, which allows you to adjust the volume, skip tracks etc.

Bugs

The game itself crashed once on me. I have had some difficulty playing online, and with Mozilla FireFox I needed to install a plug in. Internet Explorer said I needed to reinstall the game. I didn?t end up having to, but it was strange. I also had my password stop working for a day and then work again later. For those of you who use Zone Alarm or other firewalls make sure you disable them to get the game to work online. I was able to play online eventually even though it was against a computer.

Appropriateness

Pool is a pretty clean sport. I find nothing wrong with this title. Like all online games you have the potential of swearing depending on whom you play against.

Final Thoughts

This is a fairly good game, but it has some room for improvement. The online community needs more members and there are some bugs that need fixing. The single player is fun, but has a steep learning curve if you don?t know much about playing pool. I do like the tweakability of the sound and graphics. Avid pool players may enjoy this game. There is a demo available but it does not allow online game play.

Final Ratings

Graphics B+ Sound B Interface B Game Play C Appropriateness A Stability C

Overall 72%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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