WHY ANYONE WOULD want to sit down and watch a televised snooker match is beyond me. I'm sorry, but sitting in front of a small screen, watching two grown (or in Stephen Hendry's case pre-pubescent) men walking around a green table, hitting balls with a stick, for hours on end (especially when it means dropping Twin Peaks for three weeks) is not my idea of fun.
Actually playing snooker, on the other hand, is a great way of passing an hour or two. But who has either the space or the cash to have a table in their living room?
Jimmy White's Whirlwind Snooker may solve that little problem. We were well impressed with this one back in Issue 26 when we first looked at it and talked to its author Archer MacLean (he of IK+ fame) - now that it's finished it's even better!
INCREDIBLE! That's what goes through your mind the first time you see Jimmy White's Whirlwind Snooker in action. As the camera zooms back and forth across the table, panning in and out, following the flashing balls, you immediately realise exactly how close to a perfect simulation of snooker this is. The only things missing are the clouds of cigarette smoke and the occasional off-putting applause from an audience watching another game on the other side of the wall. But the real beauty of this masterpiece doesn't lie in its cosmetics - it's in the control method. The table can be viewed from any angle, the viewpoint can be moved in all manner of ways, you can play from as close or as far from the table as you like and can access whatever information you need... whenever you need it. Okay, other three-dimensional pool and snooker games have done this in the past, but never with the same degree of success. If there is a small hassle, it's that occasionally the camera will jump off in a strange direction as it follows the balls around (sometimes even under the table) and the point of not always being able to see the whole table at a glance is sometimes annoying, but that's as many faults as I could find. It's so engrossing that you'll often sit for ages trying to decide what to do without ever putting your hand near the mouse - which is exactly when the game stops taking itself so seriously and the balls blow you a raspberry (typical MacLean stuff). Jimmy White's Whirlwind Snooker is remarkable in any number of ways - it's a brilliant piece of programming, and an eminently playable simulation to boot. Snooker fans have never had it so good.
A very good 3D snooker game, where the table and cue could be turned through almost any angle, with shot strength and spin as required too.
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Lemmings, Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade, Lemmings 2: The Tribes, James Pond 3, James Pond 2: Codename Robocod, Pinball Dreams, James Pond 1: Underwater Agent, Indianapolis 500
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