Giving good reviews makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, so we may as well avoid the pans for as long as possible. One of the most dazzling simulations on the market is Virtual Pool (Interplay), which comes with a money-back guarantee that probably gets honored about as often as Tonya Harding. No expense has been spared, and no principle compromised, in the making of the disc, which contains everything you might expect from a pool simulator, and more. If you’re a beginner and want a user-friendly introduction to ease you into the program, you’ll be happy with the abundance of hand-holding extras like the Animated History of Pool, an overview of Games of Pool, a Virtual Pool Tutorial, an exploration of Trick Shots, and the option of playing against no opponent while you’re getting your feet wet. And if you’re a shark, you’ll be thrilled with the heavyweight features, like an automatic tracking function that predicts the movement of every ball on the table for any shot, more different views and angles than you could get from a real pool table by crawling on your knees or hanging from the ceiling, and, of course, infinite control over the cue ball. The refinement of the game in digital form allows a precision that in the past has been denied to all but the most accomplished hustlers. Set up and execute complex combinations without even breathing hard, investigate the subtleties of English and Kisses at your leisure, and experiment all night with that elusive Spin Transfer. There’s no question that Virtual Pool can (and, with a little effort, will) improve your non-virtual pool game. The question is whether you’ll be able to tear yourself away from this innovative and comprehensive program long enough to get down to the pool hall.
– November 1995