Pool by CDS is hardly a brand new game, having emerged in the middle of last year. But most such games were released before CRASH started life, and it's no bad thing to catch up on a few of them, especially if they have been popular, and CDS Pool certainly has, remaining in the charts all year. To celebrate its continuing popularity, CDS have now repackaged the game in a new cassette cover which matches the style of their recent releases. The game, however, remains as it was.
Each version has its own peculiarities. In the CDS Pool you start each game with three balls and three shots. The object is to pot all six balls on the table, three red and three blue. Aiming the cue ball is done by moving a small triangular marker around the edge of the table, the ball being shot towards the marker (not in the opposed direction as happens in some versions). The marker is moved clockwise or anticlockwise using the S or A keys. Speed of shot is controlled by a five block bar below the display area. After a shot has been taken, the speed setting returns automatically to a value of three.
During a game the number of shots remaining will decrease by one for each shot made, unless a ball is potted on that shot when it will revert to three. After frame three, this is reduced to two shots. Any foul shot results in one of the players three start balls being removed.
Scoring is done by giving the blue balls 20 points and the red 10 points. Pool can be played by one or two players, each score being continuously displayed.
Control keys: KS moves cursor anticlockwise, L = speed, ENTER to shoot
Keyboard play: simple and responsive
Use of colour: well used but naturally limited
Graphics: good movement of characters, well laid out text and scores
Sound: well used with rebound sounds and a strident tone for the cue cursor
Skill levels: 2
Lives: 3 balls
Features: 1 or 2-player games
'This is an excellent copy of the arcade Pool game (which is, in turn, a copy of real pod!). The graphics are very good, the balls moving accurately and smoothly. Setting up shots is easy with a pointer which the cue ball will aim for. I enjoyed this game and found it rather addictive (mind you, I am a snooker/pool fan) and I feel that all Spectrum owners should have this in their collection, especially if they enjoy the real thing (either video or 'real'). It's a shame you cannot arrange the balls on the table to try out new or trick shots. Overall Pool is a very good game.'
'Of all the versions I have played, I still think the CDS Pool has the best graphics. The movement of the balls is very good, smooth and convincing in the way they rebound. They also come to a rest more realistically than in any other version, and every bit as well as the dedicated arcade version in my local pub. The colour has been well used - there isn't much room for alteration of course - but it all stands out well. Playing Pool has been made simple, especially as the cue marker can be inched very finely by tapping the key. Holding the key down will cause it to speed up so it doesn't take ages to move around the table. Definitely the best Spectrum version, and if you haven 't already got it and you like table games, then you should have this one.'