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Fut excursion into the world of pool
Although there are a few pool games out there, it's not exactly a mass market and there only a few titles really worthy of playing for fans of the sport. Archer Maclean's Pool is one of the better sims, while Arcade Pool, from Team17, best known for Alien Breed and the Worms series, also makes for a safe bet. Instead of the 3D view of the likes of Virtual Pool, this one uses an overhead view of the table which makes for a visually unimpressive game, but which does make it smooth and easy to get the hang of. A number of modes are available here, including the standard 8-ball (both UK and US variants) and the faster 9-ball game, while a Survival mode requires you to complete a table without missing more than three times, and the Speed mode tasking players with completing a table in the fastest possible time. Throw into this customisable rules so you can tweak things to suit your tastes, and a two-player mode and you have all the makings of a decent pool sim. Any such game relies heavily on the accuracy of its physics but fortunately Arcade Pool scores pretty highly in this respect, although the DOS version does display a few moments of bizarre ball movement just to keep your on your toes. While the game doesn't feature any licensed players (although who would have known?) the AI players are generally pretty good and provide a decent challenge for most people. As you'd expect from a 2D pool game, the graphics and sound are nothing to write home about, but are at least serviceable enough and do their job, and as mentioned the physics are solid. Although the game lacks the trick shots of other games, its emphasis on arcade action means it is a fair amount of fun and keeps up a good pace. If you're looking for a simple, but enjoyable pool sim this is the one to go for.
Arcade Pool is Team 17s pool simulation
Before setting out to devise the classic Worms games, team 17 had its hand at simulation games, among which Arcade pool was one of them. This game is a straightforward pool, 8 and 9 ball as well as snooker sim, with really simple and straightforward controls. The table can be viewed top down and, you can control the angle of each shot, the speed of the shot as well as the cue ball hit position. The title doesn't say arcade for nothing though, you won't be able to go for tricky shots, you won't be able to put spin on the cue ball or attempt other very technical shots. Instead, the simple, straightforward game that you can play in every instance will be clean and fast paced. You get a guiding shadow cue ball to help you pick your angles and then you can see how the shot performed. The game runs very smoothly and the physics seem to approximate very accurately those of a real pool table. So, the game does a very good job at keeping you engaged and doesn't pose any challenges in terms of controls or other tidbits. You can select the opponents depending on the level of challenge you want to experience