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Review by: Pete Hines
Published: June 16, 1997
All of you “Minnesota Fats-wannabes” have one more way to test your stuff with Head Games’ ProPool 3D. The game comes with an amazing amount of customization, and lots of choices to keep things interesting. Fifteen different tables, four playing environments, and eight game types give gamers a seemingly endless number of options and combinations for playing pool.
The different tables available in the game are representative of real Brunswick pool tables. Each table consists of different combinations of felt, pocket style, wood type and color, style, and other variables. The felt on the table can also be changed to hundreds of standard or custom colors. At any point during a game, you can change the type of table being played on or the color of the felt without altering the game itself. If you really like one of the tables you find in the game, you can even order a real table from Brunswick, customized to your specifications, and have it delivered to your home.
You can choose to play in one of four rooms: billiards hall, dive bar, home game room, or tournament setting. Each room has its own atmosphere and appropriate music. For example the tournament setting features an arena-like area, surrounded by stands full of onlookers. In contrast, the seedy bar has dilapidated walls with “No Spitting” signs and cool blues music. Of course, what this game really boils down to is playing pool.
ProPool 3D comes with a number of variations of pool, eight in all. Choose from straight pool, 8-ball, snooker, cutthroat, and a number of other popular games. You can practice by yourself or compete against the computer or another player in any of these variations. The average player will be familiar with eight-ball or nine-ball play. In eight-ball two players compete to be first to sink all of their balls (either 1-7 or 9-15) and then sink the eight ball. In nine-ball, two players compete to be the first to legally sink the nine ball. On any shot, the first ball struck must be the lowest numbered ball on the table.
Other games in ProPool 3D provide some nice variety. In cutthroat, three players each have five balls (1-5, 6-10, or 11-15). The object is to sink all of your opponents balls before they sink yours. Three-ball is a contest to see who can sink a rack of three balls in the fewest number of shots. Snooker is a complicated and challenging game, usually reserved for more skilled players.
A number of different pool cues are available for play, ranging from very hard to very soft. Each type will effect the touch you have on the cue ball. Use hard cues to blast the ball and softer cues for a delicate touch. Cue types can be changed from shot to shot, allowing players to approach each shot differently. You can also use english or masse techniques to alter the way you address the cue ball. A little backspin or a fancy trick shot can not only help you sink the ball you are aiming at, but also help set up your next shot. And, as most good pool players will tell you, that is what makes a good pool player.
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