Title Arcade Pool (Third Review) Publisher Team 17 [also on CD32 with Superfrog] (1994) Game Type Sport Players 1 HD installable HD-patch: aminet:game/patch/t17pack.lha Compatibility all Amigas (AGA enhanced) Submission Jason Compton This Amiga Report review appears here by courtesy of Jason Compton Review What doth make a CD32 game great? There's obviously more than one answer to that question. Personally, while I find direct-from-disk shovelware offerings a bit offensive, it doesn't immediately ruin my enjoyment of the game. Storage-intensive games like Microcosm can certainly be enjoyable, but sometimes the best are regular games with just the right usage of CD advantages. MicroProse has done a decent job with their CD32 offerings. So, now, does Team17 with Arcade Pool. At its heart is a terrific playable pool simulation. But the real attraction, at least for a time, is the "Pubmosphere" CD tracks on disk...about 7 or so minutes of...well, pubs. The recording is terrific...it really sounds, at least to the rest of the world, like you've got a bunch of glasses clinking and people talking. They clink and talk, or play pool, or blues, while the Arcade Pool is played. Certainly, it's not as good as being there, but it gives it the extra kick that rounds Arcade Pool out into a great game. Of course I'll tell you how the game itself plays. The table itself is a top-down affair with what at least look like oversized billiards. You take aim by pressing the red button on your destination and using the pad buttons to control power and "english". Aiming guides range from detailed outlines of the cue ball's trajectory to nothing. When you're satisfied, the blue button executes the shot. If you like, a mouse can perform all of the above, but it's not particularly necessary. The game itself supports a wide range of pool rules, including customizable 8 ball with most of the major issues people fight about in 8-ball selectable by the players. Other games are 9-ball, US 8/15 ball, Survivor, and single-player options 9-Ball Challenge and Speed Pool. Trickshot will help you hone your skills. You'll need them in case you actually are foolish enough to take on the computer. There are only two "difficulty" levels, Rookie and Pro, but I haven't noticed much of a difference. The computer players make incredible shots...repeatedly. Let's just say that if you're not in good shape early on, you may as well treat it as a learning experience. Despite its PAL requirement, the game purports to be fully AGA compatible on all systems, even going to the length to tell you your system configuration. Quite nice of them, and another reason I like the game. (CD32 FastRAM just allows the computer player to figure out how to make incredible shots a bit quicker, I think.) The game has a fairly gentle learning curve, but you'll be frustrated the first few games, and Team17 has decided to minimize cost by making all manuals online. It's a bit frustrating, too, because while within Arcade Pool you can look up the implementation of pool rules in the game, you must read the technical aspects (press this button to do this, etc.) from a preboot menu. Score one for budget, minus one for convenience. But if you want a good sport simulation on the CD32 and are bored already with Brutal Sports Football (how could you be??) give Arcade Pool some serious thought. "And if there's no jumbos, bring larges." -Quote from CD track "Pub #1".