An exceptionally refined application to play Snooker, 8-Ball, 9-Ball and Rotation Pool.


Our rating: 

License: Free (Private/Educational use)
Review & Alternatives: Best Free Billiards and Pool Game

Pros & Cons:

Sensational true-to-life graphics and physics, 4 different games to choose from, simple mouse controls that are easy and intuitive.
Requires live Internet connection to a commercial site.

Our Review:

8BallClub is an exceptionally refined application connected to what appears to be a safe and reasonable online gaming site. With 8BallClub you can play Snooker, 8-Ball, 9-Ball and Rotation Pool. Note that you will be required to choose a username and password and provide an email address before anything else happens. If that's acceptable, then go ahead. Before challenging online opponents, you can select "Practice" and indulge to your heart's content, in regular two-player mode. There is, however, a 60-second time limit imposed for taking each shot – a perfectly reasonable constraint.

This Pool game has probably the best graphics and the most intuitive controls of any. It is stellar in its scope and imagination. But be aware that once you leave the practice table and seek out community opponents, the site allows wagering with real money. So you'll be wise and choose the Fun Money mode, which is the default. You'll be able to compete for ratings, play in tournaments, and one day perhaps see your chosen pseudonym posted on their Hall of Fame. There are various promotions offered and come-ons for their other sports, so watch your step.

Actual gameplay is controlled with just your mouse. Left-click to aim, right-click to shoot. It's great how intuitive they've made the mechanics and I don't fully understand it. When you hold the mouse's right button it signifies that your aiming is completed and locked in. You then pull the mouse toward you and lightly shove it forward. Unlike many other Pool games, there is no gauge shown beforehand, revealing the impetus that your stroke will impart. That statistic is displayed right after the shot is made. Mainly, you simply perceive from the resulting motions what the strength of your stroke was. It's uncanny really but with ever-so-little practice, the knack of making the shot you intend becomes a breeze.

You'll also have the ability to apply off-center English and/or incline the cue for massé shots. You can move around the table and see things from any angle. You can choose the standard first-person view from behind the cue stick or opt for an overhead view. Better yet, you can elect to keep a semitransparent miniature display of the overhead view on screen while using the primary one. The controls and options are exceptionally well conceived and implemented. There is also a small unobtrusive “Aim Assist” display in the lower right, showing precisely and to full scale just how the cue ball will impact the object ball. This game is just like being there, or maybe better.

8BallClub was reviewed by on based on version 3.33.