Deluxe Pool is a Classy Way to Play 9-Ball on Your Browser
You can easily invite a friend over to your computer or play on your own in this impressive little billiard gaming gem called Deluxe Pool. If you love snooker, or pool games in general, then this one is a definite must-have on your bookmarks list. It is an excellent choice for those moments when you just need a good game to tide you over even for just a few minutes. Lining up shots and setting the power is incredibly easy thanks to the game's intuitive control system and the predictive directions show you that Deluxe Pool's depiction of physics is quite believable.
No Creative Shots
The thing about this game is that the pool play is straight as an arrow. No fancy tricks. Sure, you can change the spin on the ball, but will only determine if you end up spinning left, right, do a follow, stop, or reverse. If you want to make a jump shot, the game does not allow for that (maybe it is a limitation of the game's mechanics). This may be a bit of a downer for some folks who actually do some fancy work on the actual table, but for a game port of the real thing, we are gonna give this game a pass for the sake of its style of delivery. Even the highest power on your shot will be a little tame -this is most noticeable when performing a break. But given that this is just a browser based title, we cannot really ask for much (though we would have rather preferred the option).
Still, you can land a few fancy pockets thanks to the game's rather impressive aiming system. It actually shows you the full trajectory of the cue ball until it hits the first target. At that point, the trajectory line shows you the general direction of the cue ball (solid line) and the ball it hits (dashes). The system is really easy to use, and while some beginners may want it to show much longer projections, long-time players will find that this is more than enough of a guide.
Not Quite Physical
As good as the physics in this game is, it is still far from realistic unlike some of the more realistic ones you can find at UK Snooker Pool. As such, some of the shots feel a little too calculated or too straight. This lack of variance in the direction of shots may throw off some players at the start, but after a quick set, it is easy to get the hang of the game's various nuances. As we mentioned before, the strength of the maximum power shot is very much lacking, and being able to make a good break is going to be quite unsatisfying if you decide to go anything but do a full center shot.
Another thing that players may find annoying is the aiming system -the closer your mouse cursor is to the ball, the jerkier the movement is. Moving further away makes the aiming more accurate, but the amount of mouse motion you need increases by a lot. This is made even more complicated by the fact that shot power requires you to click, hold down the button, and then drag the pool stick away from the cue ball. It takes a bit to get used too, and being able to aim accurately and efficiently requires a bit of practice to get right.
Go For Two Player Fun
One of the better features of the game is the fact that you can play this game with a friend. There's a two player mode for those times when you want to do more than just practice. In this match up mode, you can get a friend to play a round with you on the same system. Just select the mode, input the player names, and get started. Thanks to the game's automated scoring system, figuring out who is winning is all a matter of paying attention to the current scores.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you just want to spend a bit of time practicing your shots, then Deluxe Pool has a one player mode would be more than enough to keep you happy. The balls are automatically set and prepped for you, and all you need to do is make the shots. This is a great way to test out some shots while also polishing your shooting skills.