COMPUTERS being, supposedly, very good at mathematics, it is not surprising that a plethora of Pool and Snooker simulations have been produced. Capitalising on the rent-a-star concept behind Daley Thompson's Decathlon, CDS Micro Systems has released Steve Davis Snooker, complete with a cassette insert portraying the wonder sizing up a likely pot.
The game is not at all bad. The screen displays an overhead view of the table. To play a shot, you move a cross-hair sight to a point on the table through which you want the white ball to pass - the point does not have to be next to another ball, giving scope for several styles of lining up shots.
You then set the power, and indicate on a large picture of the white ball where you wish to strike it, allowing the player to use spin shots if desired.
The geometry of the program, and the way in which spin is taken into account, is more realistic. It will take about as long to line up your shot as it takes Cliff Thorburn to play a simple stroke, but then snooker is not the fastest sport around anyway. On average a frame should take half an hour, about the same as in real life.
Problems occur however with foul shots. Although the correct penalties are awarded and the option to take the shot or put the player who fouled in again is there, there is no provision for a free ball. Nor does there appear to be any recognition of a touching ball.
The pockets are large, although that does not mean you will find it particularly easy to build large breaks. Positioning of the cursor can be done by keyboard or joystick, and there is an acceleration factor so that one can make fine adjustments without taking ages to move the cursor from one side of the screen to the other.
Joystick: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair