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Playing billiards involves many difficulties - mostly those we can easily solve or do not care about. However, the most annoying thing about it is finding a worthy adversary, who will not spoil all the fun altogether. While we can use a PC to save on costly equipment and spare ourselves a walk to a billiards club, playing against computer-controlled opponents is too routine, too unchallenging. And too silent.
Although Internet cannot let you give somebody a hearty slap on the shoulder, or buy a couple of drinks to celebrate a nice game, it is still far more pleasant to know that someone else admires same moments, grumbles at errors and endeavours to make inventive shots. If you do find these things valuable, you may give 3D Billiards a try. This game allows you to choose between three varieties of billiards: 8-ball, 9-ball and snooker. After choosing the appropriate game, you can connect to an Internet server (provided that you have paid for a registered account), where you will pick a channel with several hundred players to talk and compete with.
Billiards rules are basically followed; you will get all the fouls and free balls you earn, although I did fail to see a snooker position restored or the "touching ball" rule in action. Ball physics takes time to get used to, but is not irritatingly wrong, like it usually is. Aiming is fine in general as to applying sides, not to expect masse shots though. The game supports switching between 3D and a 2D overview, the latter being useful when watching balls run across the table after a shot.
During the game you can chat with your opponent, discuss interesting positions, thank him for a good game or beg for a revanche. Alternatively, you can disconnect from the server and play offline with your friend on the same PC (which is free without any limitations). The only blot on the landscape is perhaps the graphics, being rather simplistic and lo-res - but who would notice a thing when attempting the magical 147?
- A nice pastime at leisure
- Pleasant people to play online with
- Not oversimplified ball control
- Playing in company on one PC is free
- Playing online is not free of charge
- The resolution cannot be changed, and is quite unsightly
- Ball physics may seem strange
- Some snooker rules are omitted