3D Pool
Copyright/Publisher: Firebird Software/Aardvark Software, Program & Design: Orlando,
Release Year: 1989, Genre: Snooker/Pool, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

Pool is pool, there's no two ways about it and of course we don't need to explain the ins and outs of the game just for the very few out there now do we?

This game of pool though is slightly different from the norm as you can walk around the table and view the table from almost all angles. Yes, that's the 3-D element of the game, adding an extra sense of realism to what could be otherwise just a fairly ordinary pool game.

During play just have a good look around the table and judge the game from all angles. Once a shot is decided upon move around the table to the best place and angle for the shot, adjust the power level and send that cueball on its way.

Top and bottom spin on the cueball can be induced by changing the hight at which you look at the table. Official pool rules apply with a foul shot resulting in your opponent being awarded an extra turn and free ball.

As well as the run of the mill two player and practice options, a trick play option allows you to play 15 types of trick shot or construct your own. There's also a tournamnet to be played against eight other hustlers (matches consist of three frames). Beat all these and you go up against the champion himself Maltese Joe.

Having been very quiet of late Orlando comes back in style with not only a competently executed version of one of my favourite sports but also a very different one at that.

The speed of movement on the 64 is almost rapid, and the illusion of moving around an actual table is convincing despite the somewhat basic presentation.

I can put up with the odd sense of long distance perspective and the at times dubious 'ball bouncing off the hole' shots but the pace of the computer opponent's thinking made me grind my teeth to a pulp.

I like pool and 3-D Pool is a well executed, original game but does the computer have to think for minutes at a time before taking a shot?

The extra dimension does add more realism, although inaccurate perspective causes the apparent positions of the balls to move as the table is rotated. This is especially confusing when a ball appears to be actually resting IN the pocket!

The way balls sometimes rebound miles from the edge of the table also makes judging shots difficult. On the good side, the computer opponents all play differently and are fairly difficult to beat.

The trick shot facility is a welcome feature, as is the two player mode which will ensure long lasting appeal.


Dual player mode, demos, trick shot option - all explained well.
Good, although perspective is dodhy at times.
No tunes to speak of, but satisfyingky realistic clunks and thuds of balls colliding.
Easy enough to understand and get into.
A significant challenge is offered by the Tournament game but a lot of patience is required.
A novel twist on the traditional pool game with good graphics to match.