Arcade Pool logo Amiga Computing Gold

Team 17 are back with an accurate and fun reproduction of everyone's favourite pub game. Jonathan Maddock racks 'em up, grabs his cue, chalks his tip and gets ready to break off into Pool heaven...


Excuse the self-indulgence, but there is nothing I like more than a pint (or eight!) and a couple of rounds of pool. I don't know why booze and a game that's all about accuracy and angles go so well together.

I can safely say that I'm not the world's best Pool player, but I remember one fateful evening when (after a pint of three) I became the local Pool king. Oh yes, people tried to beat me, but god damn, I stayed on that table all night playing shots that you just would not believe to be humanly possible.

OK, so it has never happened again since that day and probably never will, but now, thanks to Team 17, I can at least work on my game on my angles via their brand new budget extravaganza, Arcade Pool.

Team 17 are now infamous for providing games with top-class quality software at a price that's right. F17 Challenge and Qwak were both original games that were worth at least three-times more than their asking price.
These two products were immensely popular with the games-buying pubic and now Team 17 are hoping to achieve the same kind of results with their first budget release of 1994.


The game of Pool was derived from billiards and is played in many different forms. Originally popular in the USA, it is now also played in Europe. USA Pool is played on a blue baize table with balls of different colours, each of which is numbered. The neutral ball (black) is the number eight ball.

The most popular form of Pool is eight-ball Pool in which players have to sink all their own balls before his/her opponent, and then must sink the eighth ball to win the game. The UK game is very similar to the USA version, with the only differences being the colour of the table (green) and balls (red and yellow).



The only other Pool game worth mentioning in the same breath as Team 17's Arcade Pool is Archer Maclean's Pool. This more technical and involved piece of software featured some hyper-realistic polygon graphics and was an absolute dream to play.

Although not exactly pool, Jimmy White's Whirlwind Snooker takes a lot longer to play than Pool, but it is still one of the greatest sports games that you can get for the Amiga.



When the production of Arcade Pool was started, Team 17 were pondering over the idea of sampling a real pub atmosphere which was a cool idea, but unfortunately it was unusable.

Despite the lack of this pub atmosphere, the samples of the balls clcking together are very clear and sound rather good. On the AGA chipset machine you can even hear the balls going into the pockets and then into the actual Pool table.

Apart from the samples, there isn't a lot more sound in Arcade Pool except the title music. This wonderful piece has obviously been played on a honky-tonk piano and could easily be mistaken for the theme-music from Bullseye.




Arcade Pool has been in development for well over two years and that's an incredibly long time for a budget game. The time was obviously spent on making sure the game was a realistic as possible and to achieve this the graphics had to be as close to the real thing as possible.

Unlike Archer's Pool, which can be viewed from a whole range of angles, the action in Team 17's pot-'em-up can only be observed from one position, which is directly above the table.

The balls are superb and skim across the table just like their real-life counterparts. The actual table is very basic, but exactly how hi-tech do you need it to be? The rest of the screen is made up of icons, a power indicator, a spin selector and a graphic that displays the number of the ball when you move your cursor over it.

Owners of either the A1200 or the A4000 will find that Arcade Pool auto-detects the AGA chipset and the graphics and sound effects suitably enhance those machines. Another improvement you will notice is that the game runs a lot quicker and smoother on the AGA chipset machines.




Arcade Pool can now be added to the list of Team 17 budget successes. The game may have very nice graphics, but it's in the playability department where it excels. The game controls are so easy to use that even the smallest child can quite happily pot his/her balls into the pockets.

There are so many different game styles that you'd be hard pressed to become bored with this piece of software. My personal favourite is Speed Pool where you have to put every single ball as fast as you can. This game style is also perfect for sharpening up your potting skills.

Arcade Pool, as with most Team 17 products, has that high addiction factor and I don't think a day has gone by since it came into the office that I haven't played it.

For just under a tenner it is an amazing bargain, especially when you consider than it has actually been in development longer than most full-price games.

It doesn't quite deserve the platinum award, but for snooker and pool fans this is a must. Purists will obviously still love Jimmy White's Whirldwind Snooker and Archer Maclean's Pool, but Arcade Pool is a perfect complement to both of those games.

Arcade Pool logo Amiga Format Gold

There's a bloody slope on this table. You rubbed the chalk off my tip when I wasn't looking. Someone walked in my line of vision. There are few things in life worse than losing at pool. Maybe when that bloke in the film Scum puts the pool ball in the sock, whacks everyone and exclaims, "I'm the Daddy now," is a tad worse. But not much.

This game is driving me up the wall. Here I am trying to write a review and I'm desperate to beat my pitiful time of three minutes 11 seconds at Speed Pool. The idea is simple. Pot all the balls as fast as you can. In practice it's darned frustrating. You try and roll the balls over the pockets, then you give up and blast them around in the vain hope you can fluke one. Am I going on a bit? Sorry.

Time for another quick game at Speed Pool. Back in three minutes and 10 seconds or less. I hope. Nope, well over five minutes I'm afraid. Not that Speed Pool is the only option. There are various versions of US and UK pool as well as Survivor where you get three lives and must pot a ball on every visit to the table. Miss and you lose a life - it's splendid. There's also a Trickshot section, where you can attempt Virgoian feats.

Up to eight can play and there are single match and tournament options - the interface is superbly set out and it takes about half a minute to get the hang of it.

Oh, by the way, my best Speed Pool time is now one minute and 57 seconds, cue laud applause while I breathe on my fingernails and polish them on my collar.

This game is incredibly addictive. It's not realistic as Archer Maclean's Pool but hey, it's an arcade game so monkeys to it. I defy anyone to play one game and walk away from the machine. Go out and get a copy. Now.

Blinde Filzlaus

Arcade Pool logo

Wenn es um Action geht, hat sich Team 17 ja längst als zuverlässiger Lieferant preisgünstiger Qualitäts-Soft erwiesen - ob die flotten Engländer ihrem guten Ruf wohl auch in anderen Genres gerecht werden?

Antworten wir mal mit einem unverbindlichen "Jein". Einerseits kann diese Billard-Simulanten nämlich allerlei Plus-Punkte für sich verbuchen, wobei insbesondere die Vielfalt der Varianten angenehm überrascht: Ob 8-Ball oder 9-Ball, englische oder amerikanische Regeln, ob Speed Pool oder Turniermodus - alles da, was das Herz begehrt.

Die 32 Digi-Gegner mit ganz unterschiedlichen Fähigkeiten konnten uns ebenso überzeugen wie das Trickshot-Setup oder die Option, bestimmte Einzelnregeln abzuändern, um damit regionalen Vorlieben entgegenzukommen.

Das MausHandling ist dabei angenehm simpel, während eine schicke Musik und digitalisierte FX Atmosphäre schaffen. Für die launige Zehn-Minuten-Zockerei zwischendurch ist das Game also allemal geeignet, zumal es ja wirklich preiswert zu haben ist.

Dennoch macht die fade Optik der Langzeitmotivation einen Strich durch die Rechnung; denn es ist nun mal nicht abendfüllend, immer nur einen Tisch im Gesamtüberblick von oben vor der Nase zu haben, auf dem langsamere halbe Kugeln auch noch unschön ruckeln.

Da helfen letzten Endes auch mehr Farbabstufungen bzw. detailliertere FX bei der im Preis enthaltenen 1200er-Variante nicht, denn billig hin und billig her - wer einmal die konkurrierenden Billard-Versoftungen von Virgin (Jimmy White's Whirlwind Snooker & Archer Maclean's Pool) gesehen hat, wird auf diesen Grafik-Standard kaum verzichten wollen. (jn)

Arcade Pool logo

You can't go shopping it int. And it's not full of water. Apart from that, though...

Arcade Pool is bonkers. Not bonkers in a zany, lovable, that-Arcade-Pool-eh?-what-will-it-get-up-to-next? Kind of way. But ludicrously, irritatingly, frustratingly, what's-the-point?-ly bonkers. In fact, it's stupid.

But why? It's from top publisher Team 17. It's a version of a sport that's been knocking around in various computerised forms practically since electricity was invented. It's slick. It's polished. It places the emphasis firmly on getting stuck in and having fun. ('Arcade', y'see?). What's gone wrong?

It's the computer players, mainly - they're unfeasibly good. Very, very rarely do they simply fire the cue ball at another ball and knock it straight into a pocket, even if there is a ball waiting right next to pocket to be potted. More usually it'll go for an elaborate trick shot, involving the cue ball rebounding off two or three other balls before it hits the target ball, and then the target ball possibly colliding several more times with balls and cushion before it slips neatly into a pocket that you'd never dreamt of aiming for.

Once I recall the cue ball hitting one ball (which we'll call Ball A), and then going on to hit the ball to be potted (Ball B). Ball B rolled towards the pocket, but not quite the right angle to go in. Fortuitously, however, Ball A had rebounded off the opposite cushion, and was heading back towards Ball B just as it was passing the pocket. They collided, and the resulting adjustment to Ball B's course was just enough to divert it into the pocket. Or how about the time when the cue ball bounced off the rounded part of the cushion next to the pocket at just the right angle to... no, no. It's too painful.

What's more, the computer never tries to play strategically. When it pots a ball, it doesn't seem to give any consideration to where the cue ball is going to end up, instead relying on its phenomenal playing ability to get it out of any tricky situations. It's virtually impossible to snooker and, conversely, never bothers trying to snooker with you. And (and) it wildly applauds itself every time it pots a ball, which is hugely irritating.

The sort of thing computers can do

Now, the computer seems to spend ages 'thinking' before it takes each shot. I'm only guessing here, but what seems to be going on is that, rather than choosing a ball to pot each time, and then trying to calculate the appropriate angle and speed, it's simply mentally running through every possible permuation of shots - no matter how ridiculous - and noting the outcomes in its memory.

It then picks the most successful and plays it as you look on in awe. That's the sort of thing computers can do and people can't, and it makes for a very artificial and dispiriting opponent.

Of course, you can always choose one of the crapper computer players to play against. Sleepy Hollow, for example, hasn't won a single game to date in the AP office. But all that happens then is that the computer deliberately, and quite obviously, messes up shots from time to time to give you a chance.

When Sleepy does decide to pot a ball, he still uses an absurd trick shot like the others. Why not play it in the Speed Pool mode, then, or against a friend, you could argue. I'd retort, predictably enough, that you could have much more fun doing either of those in your local pub (except you might not be old enough, and your clothes would stink of cigarette smoke the next day).

Arcade Pool's only a tenner, of course, and, apart from this one flaw, is a thoroughly slick, polished game. (Oh, except the balls bounce around curiously freely, in contravention of all sorts of Newtonian laws. Maybe that's the 'Arcade' part.)

But I, personally, would be loath to pay £10 to be ridiculed by my own computer. Especially when Archer Maclean's Pool is due out on budget only a little bit later this year.

Arcade Pool logo

Quickshot Steve Keen snatches up his Balabushca and rests his sweaty palms on the green baize table once more, as he tests out the latest pool game.

I 'm a bit of a pool demon and as such, I was really looking forward to playing this latest super-value release from the Team 17 stable. Call me Mr. Opportunist, but when this month's software was up for grabs I grasped it with both hands and made a speedy retreat to my bedroom with a four pack of Tizer and family-sized packet of smokey bacon crisps. I just couldn't wait to rip the vacuum-packed cling film off it!

A lot of people can't understand the fascination pool gurus have with thumping a pack of different colored balls around a cushioned table, but to most it's as addictive as a caffeine-filled Quarter Pounder with extra cheese. This version is specially tailored for enhanced Amigas, but will run adequately on most (1Mb and upwards).

The inclusion of the British red and yellow ball game, with English rules, is long overdue and, particularly in this mode, the game has a distinct pub feel. The use of a cue that pops up every time you take a shot and actually draws back to the edge of the table is a lot better than other systems, where you just click a mouse button and stand back as the balls start to shoot off all around the table.

Now, you might think that playing Arcade Pool will be a doddle after hanging out with the big boys down at your local pool hall, but you couldn't be more wrong. The control system is simple enough, just drag the cursor over towards the ball you want to hit and place it down. In certain conditions and on certain levels a staggered white line will appear showing you exactly where the cue ball will go after it has made contact with the pack.

This is very useful for positioning shots as you can quite accurately judge where the white is going to stop by watching the animated shadow that follows the path of the white before you take the stroke. Down on the bottom right of the screen are the power bars and a white ball with a tiny cursor in the middle of it. You can click on this and drag it around inside the white to add side and screw-back, an acquired skill in bot real pool and the computer variant.

Simple to appreciate, yes but incredibly difficult to master with any degree with accuracy. For some reason I had more success with these 'professional' skills during the American games. I don't know if the pockets were slightly bigger on the Yank tables, as they are in real life, but a greater percentage of shots tat I took whilst on the blue baize table, were sank than on the green.

Loaded with options, the game has just about everything a would-be hustler could want. Different table frictions, skill levels, shot aiming aids and set ups are just a few.

Most notable are the eight different versions of the game you can play, such as 8-Ball UK, 9-Ball US, Straight Pool and Survivor or Killer, as it's more commonly known in pubs. This is where you get together with up to eight mates and take turns to pot any ball. Every time you miss a pot you kill off a life and the last player left in the game wins. There's even an option to try out those fancy trick shots and a custom pool game that allows you to practise plays.

Aside from the obvious versatility of the game, not everything in the garden is rosy. The control method, a cross-haired cursor affair, requires absolute pin point accuracy, if you want to avoid ricocheting the balls off the cushions in unexpected pinball fashion, and it takes a frustratingly long time to master. I play pool with a great deal of instinctive intuition as to what angles to use and had to totally readjust my aim on every shot.

Also, the computer is a hustler in disguise - it hardly ever misses a shot. However, if you can keep up with all the different rules used in the different pool variations and have the patience to learn the game again from scratch, it's quite a laugh. After watching the computer pot its fifth ball in a row off four cushions was left feeling well cheated! Therefore, to get the best out of the game play against a friend.

Arcade Pool CD32 logo CD32 Amiga Computing Gold

Chalk your tip and prepare to break off into pool heaven. Jonathan Maddock has a look at Team 17's excellent Arcade Pool, this time making an appearance on the CD32.


Archer Maclean's Pool was, for a long time, the only decent Amiga pool game. Although excellent in almost every way, it tended to lean towards the simulation side of things. This factor, unfortunately, made it quite slow to play a whole game, unless you were some kind of an ambidextrous mouse-controlling hero.

Two months ago, Team 17 took another game genre under their wing and once again created a classic piece of Amiga software. Its name was Arcade pool and it was and still is a fully fledged, fast and frenetic pool game of epic proportions.

With the advent of CD technology, the "budget" game that took over two years to develop is making a star appearance on the CD32, complete with sonic and graphical enhancements.



When developing the original, Team 17 thought about sampling a pub atmosphere which would play while you were clacking your balls around the table (although this was probably just a very good excuse to drink copious amounts of alcohol in work time). The idea couldn't be implemented into the floppy disk version, but it wasn't forgotten about and has been included in this CD32 version.

There are six different atmospheres/tunes to choose from. The first two sound like pubs with people talking and, supposedly, drinking. They don't sound like the pubs I go in, but they do the job adequately enough. The next is a pool hall atmosphere which, when turned on, instantly transforms you into Paul Newman from the Hustler.

There are a couple of Blues tunes which are more or less bog-standard computer game music. The best tune to play to though is entitled Thang and simply consists of some quality drumming and some minimal piano playing.

If none of these tunes or atmospherics appeal to you, there is always the silence option, so you can enjoy the superb soundeffects all on their own.




Arcade Pool is viewed from an overhead perspective rather than a number of angles.

The balls (UK or a USA set) on the table are brilliant and move about and clack into each other just like the real thing. The screen display is minimal but this isn't such a bad thing as you tend to concentrate on the action rather than some superfluous and flash graphics.

A superb ray-traced introduction was talked about, but it seems like that particular idea was shelved. Graphically, there is virtually no difference between the floppy and CD version of Arcade Pool, but this isn't too much of a worry as the graphics were so good in the original version anyway.




Arcade Pool shines in almost every department and although it looks and sounds nice, the most important thing is that it plays like a complete dream.

The control method, whether you're using a joypad or a mouse, is spot-on and very easy to use and this means anyone of any age can play and enjoy the game.

Thanks to the many different pool styles, you'll find it almost impossible to get bored with the game. The computer opponents are tough, so this means you're in for a long-term challenge.

Arcade Pool is also incredibly addictive, almost as addictive as the real thing, but considerably cheaper. You always feel inclined to have "just one more go" whatever the result of the last game you played.

I highly recommend Team 17's brilliant Arcade Pool to every CD32 owner on the planet, and if that doesn't convince you then maybe the incredibly low price of £14.99 might.

Arcade Pool CD32 logo CD32 Amiga Format Gold

Arcade Pool (Team 17, 0924 201846, £14.99) has been Number One in the budget floppy charts longer than Wet Wet Wet's recent success. Low of price and high in playability, we spent many an hour clacking the balls pocketward. Some people lamented its lack of realism; but it's an arcade game, we countered, it isn't meant to be Archer Maclean's Pool Mark 2.

Arcade Pool's top-down view and easy-to-pick-up control method make it a game that you can learn in minutes - but real proficiency takes much longer. The CD32 version has all the options of the original - there are many diverse versions of the game, Speed Pool and Killer are particular favourites of mine. And it's the only pool or snooker game available for the CD32.

Arcade Pool CD32 logo CD32

Nun läßt Team 17 die bunten Kugeln also auch über die Schillerscheibe rollen - und insbesondere, was die filzige Atmosphäre betrifft, legt diese vielseitige Billard-simulation auf CD noch mal kräftig zu!

Jetzt gibt's nämlich sechs Geräuschkulissen für verwöhnte Kugelstoßer, und mit geschlossenen Augen könnte man tatsächlich meinen, in eigem gut besuchten Billardsalon gelandet zu sein: Gemurmel und Gelächter des Publikums kommen genauso realistisch rüber wie die digitalisierten Sound-FX, und statt Ragtime sorgt nun bluesige Barmusik für das richtige Kneipenfeeling.

Wie gehabt wird der Tisch in einer Gesamtansicht von oben dargestellt, und auch am abwechslungsreichen Gameplay hat sich nichts geändert. Bis zu acht Queue-Cracks versuchen sich am hierzulande populären 8-Ball oder der 9-Ball Challenge, dazu gesellen sich witzige Sondervarianten wie Speedpool, Survivor oder Trickshots sowie individuell konfigurierbare Regeln und Zughilfen.

Zwar dürgen sich Turnierspieler wieder in einer Highscoreliste verewigen, doch leider funktioniert das Abspeichern bloß über ein Diskettenlaufwerk - am CD32 sind unvergessene Ruhmesplätze also nur über Hardwareerweiterungen wie das SX-1 möglich. Besitzer eines 1200ers mit CD-ROM haben es da besser.

Die bequeme Maussteuerung läßt keine Wünsche offen, das Joypad ist allerdings nur zweite Wahl, besonders wenn es (wie bei Speedpool) auf Tempo ankommt.

Und die mehrsprachige Anleitung auf der CD hätte Themen wie den Highscoreeintrag via Pad oder das Abspeichern zumindest mal streifen können.

Trotzdem: Wo sonst kriegt die Filzlaus für so wenig Geld so viele Features und gleich 32 Computergegner obendrein? Nirgends, eben. Also stoßt zu, Leute! (st)

Arcade Pool CD32 logo CD32

Team 17/£15
Amiga version: 91% AP39

So, the excellent and fun Arcade Pool makes it on to CD. Following the glorious tradition of games that are upgraded to the super new plastic format it's changed not one bit. Flying in the face of popular opinion, it's still £15. All hail Team 17! All hail AMIGA POWER on principle!

Aside from the actual game *8-ball, 9-ball, US 9-ball, US 8/15 ball, trick shots, tournament mode and perilously anally-retentive 'real' players who are all Team 17 staff or magazine reviewers), there's a soundtrack option that wasn't there before which lets you choose between pub noises, pool hall noises or a trio or rather crap tunes.

The pub and pool hall options do add an interesting and quite believable atmosphere, and cost nothing at all because the wacky Wakefield funsters cunningly took a tape recorder with them when they went down the pub, later interjecting pre-recorded samples whenever the real-life pub denizens started swearing.

The correlated questions I just know are on your lips are, "What about the CD32 controller? Surely a game that used the mouse is going to be completely crap and useless with the joypad?" Well, for once the answer is no.

The buttons have been used sensibly (no pool equivalent of 'up' to jump, if you see what I mean) and the slightly ragged movement of the cursor is easily bearable. I can only imagine that Team 17 spent some not inconsiderable time making sure that it worked, or maybe they just got lucky and it worked this well the first time they plugged it in.

Whatever the reason, joypad control works just fine. And you can use the mouse anyway if you really feel the need to, so there you go.

Arcade Pool CD32 logo CD32 CU Amiga Screen Star

Run for cover, Lisa Collins has got a pool cue and she's not afraid to use it.

Arcade Pool On the Amiga was a good fun game for any pool fan. So I was interested to see how well the game transferred over to the CD32. As an interesting distraction Team 17 have also managed to cram on a playable demo of the brill platform game Superfrog and Super Stardust to boot.

Anyway back to the job in hand> I was well prepared for Arcade Pool, having spent most of my teenage years hanging around pool halls. I'd seen the 'Colour of Money'. I knew how to pot a ball without making embarrassing scratchmarks on the baize - no computer pool whizzkid was gonna beat me. Or so I thought. However after several humiliating defeats by my CD32 I decided to lick my wounds and go back and practice my shots in the custom game.

After a couple of practice rounds I was ready for battle. But which game was I going to show off my newly honed skills? The choice in Arcade Pool is endless.

You can play UK 8 ball pool, US 8 ball pool, US 9 ball pool, custom 8 ball, 9 ball challenge, survivor, trickshot and speed pool in either a single match game, a best of three, five, tournament or challenge.

Survivor is probably the best game to play if you happen to have friends handy as up to eight people can participate and take turns to pot a ball. If you miss you lose and life and the last person left in the game is the winner.

US 9 Ball is another good diversion if you want a break away from getting involved in lengthy tournaments. Here ou must hit the lowest numbered ball otherwise you lose points and eventually the game. Though if you are a die-hard pool fan perhaps the tournaments are the most involving, in each tournament you can choose to watch the other matches before you play your own or skip straight through to yours.

After your match a screen comes up detailing your skill level and your opponents and even if you are knocked out you can still go on to find out who won the overall tournament.

You don't need to be a shark to play Arcade Pool. For a start there's an online manual that explains all the rules of each game. Also, the control method is simple. A cue pops up before each shot and to help you along there's an option to preview in which direction the cue ball will end up after you've taken a particular shot.

This option is extremely handy if you are a newcomer to pool as you learn to judge where your shot will leave the cue ball and so go on to set up more shots for yourself.

It's also a great way for learning the best way to ricochet the cue ball off cushions and what way a cue ball will end up if hit a certain angle. All you have to do is drag the target-shaped cursor over towards the ball you want to hit and when you're happy with the position press fire and you're away. You can also vary how hard or soft you want to hit the ball using the power bars at the bottom of the screen.

Apart from being able to alter the colour of the maize, the table friction, skill levels, number of players and so on you can choose what background music or atmosphere you want. The music varies from bluesy tunes to a poppy-jazzy type tune oddly named 'thang' or something similar.

But the background noises which gripped me most were the pub atmospheres which consisted of people chatting drunkenly in various pubs.

I must admit that when I had the pub atmosphere on I couldn't quite concentrate on playing pool. I kept trying to listen in on the conversations and started to get annoyed because I couldn't quite hear what was going on. So, in the end I had to opt for the pool hall track just to get myself back on the job in hand which was trying desperately not to lose the match against my ace computer opponent.

In all, Arcade Pool was a good game on the Amiga and it is still a good game on CD32. Any pool fan will enjoy, and novice rookies will learn a thing or two about judging a shot which can't be a bad thing. It is an easy to use game, one which is quick to get into and a lot of fun to play. And at £14.99 it's top value too!