- Developer: Cherry Pop Games
- Publisher: Cherry Pop Games
- Genre: Sport, Snooker
- Release Date: Preview Game
- Platforms: Xbox One PC
- Game Supplied by: Xbox
Snooker Nation, “Could everyone turn their mobile phones off please” “quiet please”
You’ll hear that a lot but don’t let this take away from a 5 year wait for an actual snooker game to grace our console. WSC Real 11 was the last major release and that was on the Xbox 360, aside from an add on pack from the creator of Pure Pool it’s been a long time coming, but like a 19 frame match, will it be worth waiting for? Or do you just want to know who won?
First impressions of the game were really good, loading screens looked crisp and sharp with good detail and whilst there might not be much detail on a snooker table the textures and surroundings should be better than average considering the power available. On the whole I have no complaints here, for only 1.78GB Cherry Pop Games (CPG)have done a fine job.
But they must have forgotten to include the menu system, it’s an aesthetic nightmare; wrong sized text, poor colour palette and an overall very basic and uninviting menu system. Take note, fix this before the full release!
Before I cover the actual gameplay let me fill you in on your options real quick:
Snooker Hall – Multi online lobbies to select a match.
Friendlies – Hit the Y button and get some friendly potting action going.
Leagues – Coming soon, but guess for yourself
Versus Local multiplayer – Select a game type (only snooker on preview) select a location from a lounge, hall or open championship and play your friends
Practice – where even your worst shot is not laughed at
Profile – Check progress win rates and more but don’t forget to customise that location, decal, cue or pick a celebration. You can also adjust your settings here
Skill Centre – The most pointless menu section simply showing 8 images of things you can do with a ball, no tutorial or help just images with text. Take note CPG – Remove this!
Championship – The area you will spend most of your snooker nation experience in. The offline tournament spans 6 rounds, competing in the qualifiers through to the grand final held in the Snooker Nation Championship venue, played on meticulously created Championship specification tables. But with a 19 frame in the first round alone it’s no 5 minute experience.
So once you’re in the game and on the table I have to say most previous snooker fans won’t notice much difference here from any other title. The fine tune button could do with a little work as it really just adds a larger potential shot path, I’d like to see it considerably slow down your analogue stick movement. The general physics of the play is spot on, perhaps it’s not the most complicated but it still needs to work correctly and from the many games I have played it does. Aside from that all the regular shot, spin, views, power lock etc are there, and if you pause the game you can find the rules, controls should you forget them, and the settings. It’s snooker what else did you expect?
Sound effects are simple but then again its snooker, there is no noise when playing apart from the balls crashing together. Perhaps the ability to play music of your own on the Xbox will arrive in conjunction to this.
My main gripe would be with the difficulty, on medium I still found it extremely easy to beat players wiping the floor with round 1 10-0 and progressing easily. Perhaps a couple of extra modes should be added or ideally an adaptive AI that learns your skills and ability and matches it.
Other than that it does what it says on the tin, I’d be excited to know what other modes will come in the full versions but for the £4.79 preview price, it’s worth a go.
Hit the balls sink them down the holes, expect no more no less. Snooker Nation delivers on the basic level but Cherry Pop Games have some work to do to make this a refined game that could turn into a bi yearly release perhaps.