Live Billiards Deluxe (PC)

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Monday, September 19, 2005

Graphics: 9.00
Sound: 8.00
Gameplay: 10.00
Replays: 10.00

Billiards may be a niche sport, but there certainly are a lot of digitized versions of it. Not to be left out, Terra Game has come out with Live Billiards Deluxe, which may also be one of the best billiards games for the PC market.

One of the first things you notice is that this game is gorgeous. Everything is smooth and highly detailed, and you can customize the appearance of various things to your liking (such as the color of the table and the background). Live Billiards has multiple camera angles, and you can easily zoom in or out to get a better viewing angle. However, you may not need to as the game typically selects the best viewing angle for you, and it is fairly accurate. Although when you’re facing off against the computer, there is no character model, you only see the pool cue. This isn’t that important though, and doesn’t detract from gameplay at all.

The sound effects are authentic, and all sound like you would expect them to, drawing you into the atmosphere of the game. The default in-game music is rather generic, but by using the options menu, you can import your own MP3’s and use them as the background music. This is a great feature, as it gives you complete freedom as to what music you wish to listen to while playing.

Control in Live Billiards is easy and effective. Using the mouse, you control what direction your cue aims, as well as how hard your cue connects with the balls. You can also use keys on the keyboards to do special shots, or use the spacebar to have the game automatically calculate the intensity of your shot for you. When playing the game, you can play a practice solo round, face a computer opponent (there are nine different difficulty levels to choose from), or play with a human opponent.

Live Billiards has all the game modes a billiards fan could want. You can choose from 3-Ball, 8-Ball, 9-Ball, Straight Pool, Pyramid, American, 14+1, or Rotation game types. As if that wasn’t enough, a Tutorial mode is also included to help you learn the nuances of the sport. Games can be exited at any time and resumed via a handy pause feature. Online and network play modes are also available for those who are interested.

Overall, even if you are not an avid billiards player, you will still enjoy Live Billiards Deluxe. A demo of the game can be downloaded at Terra Game’s website at http://www.terragame.com, and the full version can be purchased for $19.95 via the same site. Check it out, and who knows, maybe you’ll come to appreciate the sport.

Overall Rating: 9.00

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