Having been a snooker fan most of my life I was downloading this quicker than a Jimmy ‘Whirlwind’ White – Alex Higgins Sheffield Crucible semi-final match up.
International Snooker is the latest game from Big Head Games. Being a snooker game I expect a classy look and feel, and International Snooker delivers. A crisp sharp menu offers you the option to jump into a quick game or world tournament. For players not familiar with the rules or if you simply need a re-cap, all is well explained in the info icon. In addition to the info icon there is also a shop to buy different cue and chalk colours.
With the Vita touch screen controls everything is very easy and quick to navigate around. Jumping into a quick match is where your first frame should start. Here you can choose different worldwide locations, along with easy AI and quiet audience mumblings. After choosing who is to break, computer, your human opponent if playing a friend, or yourself – it’s time to cue off. The table and balls look beautiful. Instantly the game creates a welcoming and familiar feel, but will the Vita controls be as satisfying? With all the different control options available to the Vita this could be interesting. Can deep screw be executed Ronnie O’Sullivan style without a referral to the info icon? Can check side be delivered with Kurt Stevens ease? Can a decent break be put together without the slow grind of an Eddie Charlton century?
Well, from the first break and consecutive shots all was revealed. International snooker is brilliant. Instantly you feel the weight of the balls as you line up your cue. With the right toggle adjusting the power to your elbow and quick above views of the table given by hitting the right trigger, simple potting is quick to pick up. The controls feel perfect on the Vita. Soon you will be deep screwing the cue ball and lining up the next colour. The left buttons and left trigger handle this job. Need the white to follow through? Again these buttons will be your best friend if you want to progress. Even if you have never played snooker before don’t worry, this game will have you sucked in like a Dennis Taylor-Steve Davis Embassy final. There is a huge amount of satisfaction in potting red colour. The sounds of cue ball connecting the pack and balls being pocketed sound spot on. Now and then you may need to tap the left toggle back and forth to make sure the guiding arrow showing where the ball is heading is actually pointing to the centre of the pocket. Lack of any commentary makes each frame a rather silent affair, but thankfully referee Michaela Tabb provides the scoring to each frame and a break to the silence.
Winning matches in tournament mode brings in the credits and points. Here this also opens up the pool modes. I am very much looking forward to an online frame or two with our friends at The Vita Lounge.
International Snooker is a class act. A precise and uncomplicated control system makes racking up scores both fun and very rewarding. A dream to play on the Vita. Big Head Games have delivered a high scoring snooker experience. Ladies and Gentlemen, step up to the table and enjoy.
Lizard rating 8/10