3D Live Snooker Review

3D Live Snooker: budget quality for a not so budget price

Submitted by Stolich on Tue, 2010-11-09 23:25.
Author's Product Rating:
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The lowest price: 29$
You can buy it at RegNow for that price.
The small tables and larger balls make it easy to pot, thus providing a less frustrating snooker experience.
Outdated graphics - problems with UI and camera - lacks some basic features - poor manual - simplistic AI - no attention to tactical play.

Although a snooker enthusiast myself and an avid gamer, I’ve never spent more than a few hours playing a snooker simulation game. 3D Live Snooker did not bring any change to this.

First off, the game types. 3D Live Snooker offers three game types in the offline mode: Mini Snooker, Short Snooker and Full Snooker. The only difference between these three types is the number of red balls in the game (the less reds, the shorter the games takes). I was quite disappointed to see that there weren't any other game types available in the offline mode. Besides that, 3D Live Snooker also offers network play, which isn’t really different from the offline mode (except from the fact that you’re playing against a human over a network of course).

The graphics are outdated, and the user interface isn’t that good either. The user interface basically consists of your keyboard and your mouse, and that’s it. The developers could have avoided the use of Shift, Control and Function keys for basic actions. The in-game help is just transparent text over your screen, although that’s an advantage in this case, since you’ll have to resort to it quite often in the beginning because of the non-intuitive controls.

The camera has some problems. For instance, when you shoot, the camera doesn’t follow your ball so you have to move the camera yourself to see the result of your shot. To make things worse, you cannot move the camera in all directions while your shot is being played or when it’s your opponents turn. I also had the feeling that I couldn’t zoom out far enough, thus limiting my possibility to have a good view on the table, which is surely of great importance in a snooker game.

The gameplay, unfortunately, doesn’t make up for the problems with the graphics and the user interface. First thing I noticed when playing the game was that the tables were more the size of a pool table, and that the balls where quite a bit larger than your average snooker ball. This makes the snooker somewhat unrealistic, although this is an advantage too I think, because it’s harder to judge the angles in a 3D computer game than in real life. The fact that the balls are easier to pot this way also allow for a more fun and less frustrating snooker experience.

The game furthermore doesn’t have an option for ball guidance lines, which is really useful when you’re new to snooker or want to improve your position/tactical play. The manual also mentions a ‘precise aim mode’, however, when I tried it out, nothing happened.

The manual is limited to the controls and a summary of the snooker rules. I expected the game to have in-game advice concerning the basics or snooker (playing with side, break-building, etc.), but something as basic as this is not present in the game.

The artificial intelligence is very simplistic. The harder the mode, the less the computer misses, and that’s about it. In expert mode, this leads to the computer making one difficult pot after another, whereas a more humane acting AI would solve this with some basic position play. I also feel that in general the developers didn’t give enough attention to position and tactical play, given previous fact and some other elements (by example the smaller tables, the lack of ball guidance lines, etc.)

The manual of 3D Live Snooker also mentions that the game doesn’t support two ‘minor’ rules, the free ball and the respotting of the black upon a draw. The rule of free ball is anything but trivial, and I really don’t understand how you can release a snooker game that doesn’t implement this rule. I also have strong suspicions the concept of stalemate isn’t implemented in the game, but I think a stalemate is a bit unrealistic in this type of game given the lack of tactical play.


If you want a game where you actually can learn new things about snooker and improve your tactical skills, you’re probably better off with other solutions. This game is only good when you just want to pot some balls without thinking too much. And I’m even not sure of that last statement, seeing the game is quite expensive (lowest price: $ 29.00) for what you get and given the fact that there are free (!) snooker games on the Internet with more features.