9-BALL SHOOTOUT / Bundra / Arcade

I think there might have been some PC games that predated it, but 9-Ball Shootout was the first on the arcade and console scene to offer up a 3D game of pool. For an early effort it's actually pretty impressive and still holds up as fun to play.

You get the option of playing 9-ball, 8-ball or straight pool. Solo players will take on something like twelve challengers, and in a nice touch you see them roll up to the pool hall in their limo and head downstairs to face you prior to the match.

The foes are represented by crazy ghost torsos floating over the table, which is an odd but functional touch I suppose. The rest of the game is pure 3D, just the surface of a billiards table on a black background. Simple, but it allows you to rotate around to get the best angle on a shot and hit the ball at various points for special English or whatever the pool hustlers call it when you hit it to direct or spin it a certain way.

It's pretty simplistic and the looping jazzy lounge music doesn't do much for it, but the game has a fundamentally solid engine and is some basic fun. It also let you play for a fairly long time on one quarter, as compared to relatively stingier standards in games that had a similar structure.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video