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Zeppelin Games Ltd
Sport: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Linda Barker
Chris Bourne

Computer snooker, and pool, fill a gap in my life. Y'see, I cannot hold a cue. I've tried, but I just can't do it. The last time I did it I made a very tiny hole in the baize. It was hardly anything but my brother refused to let me have another go. If only baize was less expensive. I could be a really cool snooker player by now. Probably.

Even though I really enjoy snooker, and pool, I'm even going to pretend I understand how they work. Instead, I'm going to curl up for a bit and have a good old read of the inlay. (A few minutes later.) Hmm, well you should always pot the red balls first and then all the coloured balls in a certain order, oh - and you have to hit the ball you're to otherwise it counts as a foul shot and the other player gets tonnes of points. I have now imparted to you the entire contents of the very small section of my brain labelled 'snooker'. On with the review...

I think we should get the gripes over with first, then we can finish on a high note and all feel really happy. This is always a good thing. It's the same principle with desserts. Despite what you may think when you're younger, it's not a good idea to eat your apple crumble and custard first. It just make the pie and mash seem even more unexciting. (A surefire way to get round this is by only eating dessert.) Anyway, there's only really one thing wrong with Championship 3D Snooker and that's the 3D bit. Honestly, shading a few balls doth not a multi-dimensional viewpoint make. At times it is very hard to make out what's going on. and the attempted 3D only makes matters worse. As you play C3DS your eyes gradually adjust to the fuzzy 3D and you can actually pretend it isn't there.

Championship (3D) Snooker is perfectly playable. there are all the usual difficulty levels, leagues and league tournaments. At the lowest level, which is about all I'm fit for, the computer really is a duff player. But don't let this fool you because, as you move on up, the old Speccy can pull off some blimmin' fancy shots. Mind you, with a bit of practice I'm sure I could spin the white ball off the back cushion so that it swerves unbelievably and knocks the red into the furthest pocket. Honest.

So, Zeppelin would have been much better to stick with good old two-dimensional flatness, but then I suppose there would have been absolutely nothing new about this game to make us all rush out and buy it. Gripe over, the best thing about C3DS, to finish on that aforementioned high note, is the fact that up to eight people can play. Yep, I said eight! So the next time a hard rain starts to fall and you don't feel like writing that page and a half on why you had such a great summer holiday, just get on the phone. Call your mates, raid the fridge and get them all round for a quick game. It's better than a kick in the eye.

Cheap and cheerful snooker sim.


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Billy The Kid and The Green Baize Vampire was, surprisingly enough, a rather good British musical. It was on Channel 4 a couple of years ago.

The making of green baize is actually the staple industry of many old industrial towns. They used to make cotton and wool but green baize is all the rage these days

Nobody knows why baize is so expensive, but it is. If you don't believe me, just go and rip a teeny tear in your local's snooker table. The landlord will come rushing out from behind the bar, give you a very nasty look, bar you from the pub forever and ask you for £2,000. Alternatively, give the manufacturers a call. You'll come to less harm that way.

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And here's 'Deadeye' Linda in action. She bounces the cueball off three cushions, pots the red and rolls gently back to a perfect position for the black. NOT!

Dead simple control method, this. Just wobble the crosshairs onto the spot you're aiming for, hold down fire to build up power and choose the amount of ball spin. Whizzo!

Action replays, eh? Relive all those cringingly embarrasing mistakes in slow motion. Wow.