A brilliantly crafted open-sourced freeware game that affords play of either 8-Ball or 9-Ball with 3D graphics and flawless physics.


Our rating: 

License: Free (Open source)
Review & Alternatives: Best Free Billiards and Pool Game

Pros & Cons:

Gorgeous 3D graphics that you can tweak to your liking, works across all operating systems, straightforward controls, includes a tutorial, rules and glossary of terms, small download file.
No sound effects, no provision for applying English or making massé shots.

Our Review:

BillardGL is a brilliantly crafted open-sourced freeware game that affords play of either 8-Ball or 9-Ball. The 3D graphics are second-to-none and the physics appear flawless.

Unfortunately, this game as yet has no sound effects at all, and those are sorely missed. The user interface is simple and the controls straightforward. As you assess your next shot, you can view the table layout from any perspective you want, roaming and zooming and peering. Then you proceed to "Aim" mode in which your perspective, naturally, is from behind the cue ball. From there you can again zoom in and out, or see from any varying height, as you move the mouse left and right to adjust your aim. That's all there is to aiming in this game, as the software offers no projection lines or view insets or kibitzing of any kind.

In that regard, the gameplay in BillardGL is most like the real life experience. As yet there are no provisions for applying English or making massé (inclined cue stick) shots. Those may come in a future release (along with sound, I hope). Once your aim is fixed, you shoot by holding the space bar for a time and then releasing it. The longer you hold, the greater will be the impetus of your shot. As your guide, the software displays a gauge off to the side, showing the ever-building force. Once the shot is made, BillardGL will quickly pan out with its virtual camera to show the resulting motions. But in case you still missed something, the software thoughtfully allows you to replay the event from a new perspective. For example, pressing F2 changes to the overhead view, then press R (for replay) to see again what had just taken place.

Of course the software is monitoring the gameplay and overseeing adherence to the rules of the sport, reporting scratches and fouls and awarding ball-in-hand to the opponent when appropriate and of course, declaring the eventual winner.

BillardGL was reviewed by on based on version 1.75.