1986
Sport: Action
£9.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

153
Chris Bourne

Pub games seem to be dying out in nowadays fruit machines and pints of extremely fizzy lager seem to be more popular forms of entertainment. But now, courtesy of AWOATA, there's the chance to resuscitate some of these age old games in the comfort of your home. This compilation pack is designed to be played by two players, starting from side one and working through all seven games. There's also a practice option to help you get into the swing of things.

The first event is darts, in which both players try to work their way down to zero from either 301 or 501 in the best of three games. Three darts are provided, and a little character on the left of the boards throws with a press of the space bar once you've aligned the dart to your satisfaction, moving up, down, left and right. Just to make things a little bit harder the computer has a spot of the shakes, so perfect timing is necessary to 154 CRASH November 1986 get an accurate shot.

Next, comes bar billiards. This is played with eight balls on a special table with holes in the surface. The object is to score as many points as possible by potting the balls, avoiding penalty mushrooms situated at inconvenient points around the table. There are seven white balls and one red. Each hole has a different points value when a ball falls into it and the red ball doubles that value.

A foul is recorded if you fail to hit a ball or accidentally knock over a white mushroom or if any ball returns over the baulk line. Knocking over the black mushroom reduces your score in the game to zero. You have ten minutes of play after which potted balls are not returned to you.

Dominoes is next with both players trying to get rid of all of their dominoes by adding them to the dommies on the 'table' according to the usual rules best of three games again.

The second side of the cassette contains table football, pontoon and poker. In table football you we presented with a plan view of a football table with the opposing sides represented by their appropriate colours. Just like real table football, the players can be moved from side to side. Pressing the FIRE key kicks the ball. Only nine balls are provided per game, so the first player to score five goals wins.

In Pontoon, the aim is to get a hand of cards with a combined face value of twenty-one, or as close to twenty-one as possible.

Starting with two cards which you can twist (have an other card given to you which the other player sees), buy (get another card which only you see) or stick (keep the cards you already have). You can 'bum' an entire hand after the deal hand it in and get a new set of cards. Ten hands are played, and the overall winner gets to pocket the whole kitty.

After a game of Pontoon what could be better than a spicy game of poker? Keys 1 through to 5 control the five cards dealt and these can be thrown away or kept depending on how good the hand is. Usual poker rules apply, as detailed in the inlay.
Skittles is the Sinai challenge: after lining up your ball, pressing a key sends it racing down the ally, hopefully resulting in a strike. There are ten bowls per game and five separate games in all.

CRITICISM

'What a lovely idea this Is! Sadly, ALLIGATA seemed to have missed out the most important bit of going down the pub - but they probably ran out of space at the end of the tape! On the whole, this is presented quite well with graphics of a fairly high quality used throughout, a few well placed spot effects, and even the occasional tune. The seven events are quite good fun to play, although I can't really see them keeping me occupied for very long. Generally this isn't a bed set of games for the asking price, but I didn't find them all that compelling'

'Pub Games is a very good compilation. Each of the games is a very definite individual game, quite different from the rest. l doubt that reviewing them separately, I'd give them all more than 70% apiece. But in the compilation, they all join up to give a real nights entertainment. My only major complaint is that there is no quit option to allow you to leave one game and go onto the next in the full pub run. Pub Games has a lot to it, and if you're into the simple, but not too easy sort of games, then this might just be what you're looking for'

'ALLIGATA have really put their minds to this one and come up with a first class simulation. All of the games are very well done, and contain a decent mixture of graphics and fun, adding up to the perfect pub package. Every game is faithfully reproduced and great fun can be had if you get a decent enough opponent. Some may frown on the idea of a two-player game only, but I don't think a one player game 'would have been much fun. I didn't find the multiload a problem, as you can load each game individually - you just don't get your scores carried across from the last game. All in all, I found Pub Games great fun to play and well worth the asking price.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: different for each game
Joystick: keyboard only
Keyboard play: good
Use of colour: attractive
Graphics: straightforward
Sound: none
Skill revels: one
Screens: seven
General Rating: A very well thought out set of simulations.

76%
76%
75%
76%
77%
79%
77%

Screenshot Text

On the oche, Cam finds he has to play his palindrome in PUB GAMES!

The birds-eye view of the Bar Billiards table - Cam's just started playing his alter-ego Mac by the looks of things.