Snooker And Pool

Publisher: Gremlin
Machine: Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #36

Snooker And Pool

Gremlin's addition to the range of green baize simulators includes snooker and pool on opposite sides of the cassette, although control methods and options are the same for both games. From the title screen, a one- or two-player mode is selected, with the computer providing an opponent at an adjustable skill level from amateur, novice or professional. A practice mode is also available to sharpen potting skills.

Both games are viewed from the standard overhead viewpoint, with two-thirds of the screen displaying the table and the remaining third containing an information panel. This shows the players' scores, the current break and highest break, the current ball in play and on-screen instructions.


Even at the best of times, I find snooker a very slow and tedious game, and this latest budget offering from Gremlin has done nothing to change this opinion.

Graphically the game is okay, with a reasonable representation of a snooker table dominating the screen and small but clear balls. The familiar control method is reasonably comfortable in use, but when the desired ball is struck, it spins around the table in a most unconvincing manner. The harsh sound effects only help to dampen the already wilting realism.

Even with the addition of the practice mode, I would advise even the budding snooker players among you to take a good look before you part with your readies.


Snooker simulations have never really worked well on the C64, and this is no exception. The lack of realism is both striking and annoying.

Graphically it's pretty poor: the brown border is horrible, the balls aren't particularly bright or large and the whole game has a simplistic, coarse feel. The sound is abysmal: the noises fail to mimic the delicate click of ivory and subtle sounds of ball striking cushion. A serious flaw is the small ball size which renders the angles of collision imprecise - it's too often a case of luck rather than judgement and the speed with which balls move after collision is frustratingly inaccurate. Not a very worthy purchase, I'm afraid, even for the blue chalk brigade.


Presentation 44%
A useful series of options and reasonable control method, although the instructions are a little lacking.

Graphics 29%
Purely functional, not very smooth and rather sombre.

Sound 9%
Totally unsnooker-like sounds grate after only a short while.

Hookability 35%
Ease of play contributes to the initial appeal, but the unconvincing movement is offputting.

Lastability 13%
The lack of realism and the frustrating computer opponent nullifies the enjoyment factor.

Overall 29%
An unrealistic and annoying simulation which requires too much practice to overcome its faults.