Presented by the name of snooker's World Champion Alex Higgins, the game is a snooker simulator with top-down view of the table. In the beginning of the game, the player places the cue ball in fixed position on the table. To give it a direction, the cue ball's image is placed in the desired destination's position. Adjusting the force and spin, the player gives a movement to the cue ball. The coloured and/or numbered balls should be put in pockets in a predefined order according to the rules of snooker. The one with the most points at the end of a game wins.
The packs of red balls come in variations of six, ten or fifteen. There are two game modes: practice for one player and match for two players. The game is available in English, French, and German languages.
Snooker has always counted in the category of sophisticated sports. You don't sweat playing it, you can have your brandy glass right beside you and you can even play it with your cigar in the mouth. Yes, it's truly a gentlemen's sport.
Just like the real thing the computerized versions are all about figuring the correct angles, determining the correct amount of spin on the ball and hitting the balls with just enough force to get the right result.
Alex Higgins is definitely among the top names of snooker, right there with Jimmy White or Steve Davis (who's still active and wishes to remain among top 16 players for his 50th birthday). And when computerized versions of Snooker come out, they usually hold the name of the current world champion in the title, even though most of the games are basically the same.
To play snooker you need to pot a red ball, then select and pot a color and keep it up until you have more points then the opponent. Remember, potting the remaining balls on the table is not always enough, so sometimes you require a snooker (forcing the opponent into making a mistake - missing the ball he's suppose to hit, hitting the wrong one or potting the white ball).
This games comes in three languages and offers you playing against the computer (with different difficulty settings), or playing against a human opponent in a two player mode. You can also select the number of red balls to start with (the real thing has 15 reds on the table, but you can reduce the number, to make the game shorter). And that's about it.
You'll get a top down look at the table, after aiming you get to select the power of the shot, the spin of the ball and then you shoot. The chart above the table keeps statistics (including the highest break) so you might want to practice until you get a reasonable score there.
The game has high quality high, resolution graphics, which run smoothly (although you see nothing but the chart and the table - and the title shot at the end of the game). And well, what can I say, with such a small file you didn't really expect any music. Ok there's the opening tune (not much), but you'll hear the balls crashing into each other.
Play with the numeric part of the keyboard and (5 is fire) and enjoy this snooker classic.
Alex Higgins' World Snooker is an excellent PC port of one of the best early snooker games on the Spectrum and Commodore 64 computers. The game was revolutionary for its time-- offering mouse support, practice options, reasonable ball physics, and excellent control interface-- all in 1988. One glaring omission, however, is the complete lack of computer player: you have to either play both players yourself, or find a human friend to play against. This disappointment aside, Alex Higgins offers a smooth snooker game that will please all fans of the sport. Hitting the ball is done via an elegant four-step procedure: select the location to place the cue ball, shot direction, force, and finally spin direction and strength. The top-down view makes judging spin difficult, but a few rounds of practice are enough to allow you to line up perfect shots.
Overall, Alex Higgins is a great snooker game that would have been near-perfect with an addition of computer players. As it stands, though, it is an excellent PC port of a Spectrum classic that is well worth a look.
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