C&VG1st April 1987
Published in Computer & Video Games #66
Blue Ribbon is not renowned for setting the world alight, but it does produce reasonable games at reasonable prices, and Bar Billiards is no exception.
As a snooker player, with a nodding acquaintance with billiards, Bar Billiards took me by surprise. You have to knock balls into holes with a cue ball, but there all similarity ends. The holes are in odd places, for a start - a row of five down one end of the table, one halfway along each side, and two down the centre of the table. Yes, actually in the middle of the table.
Four of these holes are protected by irritating little pegs which must not be knocked over. Needless to say, I sent the wretched things flying with every stroke until I got used to their presence.
You get points for every ball you pot, and you lose points for foul strokes - like hitting the pegs, failing to hit a ball with the cue ball, and so on. There's a built-in time limit of fifteen minutes for each game.
The graphics are clear and easy on the eye. The balls roll smoothly, if they don't go down holes very convincingly, and the angles seem about right. You set the speed and direction of the cue ball (using keys or joystick) before actually hitting it, and you even have the option of top or bottom spin, which do make a noticeable difference.
I found Bar Billiards a weird game, but this is a pretty good simulation, and more entertaining than I thought it would be.