Steve Davis Snooker

Reviewed by Jim Short


Issue 22

Jul/Aug 86

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CDS Software 

48K cassette 8.95 

48K disk 11.95 

1 Player





Of all the sports which have been turned into computer simulations, snooker has to be the most unrealistic conversion of the lot. I've seen several versions on different micros and, to be honest, they're as true to life as an episode of the 'A-Team'. However, if you're a snooker fanatic and in the market for a computer version of your favourite sport then this first-time Atari release from CDS is the one to buy. It's even endorsed by Steve Davis (not exactly the best of recommendations when you consider the way he played against Joe Johnson recently!), which probably means that he pockets his fair share of the royalties!!

A good way to assess the game is by comparing it with the old Thorn-Emi version which was re-released a couple of months ago as part of their 'Spot the Ball' package. Both are reasonably similar but the CDS game has a number of additional features which gives it the edge over it's only other Atari rival.

Firstly, the table is black. Yes, I know what you're thinking - someone please tell this idiot that snooker tables are green. Whilst this is unquestionably true, it doesn't alter the fact that, where computer snooker is concerned, a black table makes for greater clarity, improved colours and enhanced definition. Simply compare the two versions - green of Thorn-Emi against black of CDS - and you'll see what I mean. Anyway, what's wrong with being King of the black baize for a change?

The CDS game also offers a greater variety of changeable parameters such as table speed and cue-ball spin. All moves are via the joystick. You line up a small target cursor on the object ball, set the desired spin and power of shot before letting fly with the fire button. After that you hope for the best. If a ball drops in the pocket, nine times out of ten it's more by luck than by design. Of course, that magical 147 maximum break is at least possible in theory, but in practice it's about as likely as Alex Higgins refusing a free gin & tonic (I've already upset the Steve 'Interesting' Davis fans, so I may as well even things up by upsetting the Hurricane Higgins fans as well!). In more realistic terms you can consider yourself World Champion if you manage to pot three balls in a row!

Normal snooker rules apply and you can even force your opponent to play again if a 'foul shot' is committed. Due to obvious limitations the 'Free Ball' rule is not implemented though.

Incidentally, just in case you were wondering, the black ball has a white circle around it to help distinguish it
from the table, but this is also true of the green ball in the Thorn game.

STEVE DAVIS SNOOKER can be played against a computer or human opponent, with selectable skill levels for the computer. If you so desire, you can choose a double computer option and sit back and watch Steve Davis play himself. At the highest skill level the breaks are likely to approach treble figures with some totally unbelievable shots taking place - impossible doubles, playing off the cush first to pot the object ball which the likes of Jimmy White wouldn't attempt, let alone Steve Davis! Yes, the computer does cheat!!

In the words of a certain popular lager ad - STEVE DAVIS SNOOKER .... probably the best snooker game in the world (or Great Britain at least). Me? I still think it looks and plays more like a game of marbles.