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Subject: My first play of the game -- I'm hooked rss

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Andrew J.
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I am a recent convert to Snooker having found some old Ronnie O'Sullivan videos on YouTube. I've since watched at least a small part of every tournament since, so it's safe to say I'm totally hooked!

When I found a solitaire snooker game in the 2016 contest, I was thrilled. My two loves -- colliding! So I printed it out, after a few tweaks to use my 4x2 method of PNPing cards. I also upgraded the artwork just a hair, replacing the balls with some higher-res versions.



I love how you can see reflections in the snooker balls. Anyways, how did the game play? I did fairly well, reaching the final only to be totally wiped out on the second stroke.

Learning the difficulty calculation, despite the many rules, is fairly simple. I still have some questions, and I didn't try the advanced strokes (or spin) but overall I'm quite elated with this game. I also didn't snooker or safety much, only doing one of each in the 5 rounds. Is this normal?

Instead of shuffling the opponents, I went up sequentially so that I could get a feel for the game on the easiest setting. So my first match was with Sir 8: Rick O'Shea. I allowed Senhor O'Shea to the table twice, but his forgiving mode meant that he only racked up 20 points against me, while I finished with a comfortable 50, including a 27 point break.

So far, so good. Time to try a harder opponent, in the 2nd round. Billy Yards was my opponent, and I polished him off. Though I came one black shy of a 50-point break (44 in total), I demolished him 73-14. I like how, just as in real snooker, I was able to play some reds and blacks together for a really solid break. Of course, this all depends on card placement.

Not having lost yet, I found myself with the 3rd cue and facing Ronnie "The Rocket" Rogers in the quarter-finals. Terrified. I had a decent break, getting me to about 27 before I missed a tough red. Ronnie rolled well and racked up enough points to tie me. I went back to the table again, pulling myself up to 30-some points. There were now less than four reds left, and Ronnie grabbed only 6 points, leaving me free to clear the table and win, 47-33.

Best cue, harder opponents. Now facing Eddie Collins, I found myself sinking some hard shots with a lot of difficulty, thanks to my cue, and some lucky 6s that kept my cue replenished. Final score: 51-32.

At this point I'm wondering if the game is really that hard. I've had some really close calls, but in general I'm hitting 30 point clearances and getting the tricky shots nicely. The 'foul' mechanic keeps me carefully watching the dice -- I had a few of those heartbreakers.

So here's how the final went down. There were no reds easily available, so I sunk a difficult pot. No problem, the black was only 4 difficulty, with one power adjustment for a three. Of course, I rolled 2 twos. Enter Tony Thompson.

The man rolls all three dice and keeps all of them, but if they're odd he loses 5 points. Best-case scenario, he rolls an odd and clears 6 or so balls. No such luck. The man rolled 3 6es, for 18 balls and a nearly total clearance. He clears 9 reds and 9 pinks for 65 points, and I concede the match, with only 27 left on the table. 65-1, I was out on the second break. These finals are hard! I can only imagine what opponents 1, 2, and 3 are like! surprise

Impressions
What can I say? I adore this game. The tournament format reminds me of Baseball Highlights 2045 and it's really satisfying to encounter new opponents, all the while slowly strengthening your own chalk and power. Your opponents clear balls in an entirely different fashion than you but their AIs are perfect -- even giving them personalities. I love flipping over balls and 'clearing the table' bit by bit. I love sinking a really difficult shot. It feels like real snooker, and I'm totally hooked.

Not only that, but the single-match format means that if I'm in a rush, I can pick a single opponent, difficulty level, and have a very enjoyable ten minutes. Depending on my mood, I can either play a 45-minute think-fest against many different opponents, or a single sprint against the hardest opponent I think I can handle. I'm also totally determined to try for a maximum break, though it totally depends on the way the cards land and I don't know if it's technically possible.

In short, it's safe to say I love this game and I'm looking forward to playing it lots more in the future. Review forthcoming, but it's safe to say I'm hooked!

Andrew
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Mark Tuck
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aaj94 wrote:
I love how you can see reflections in the snooker balls.
Agreed - they look sexy.
Quote:
I'm quite elated with this game. I also didn't snooker or safety much, only doing one of each in the 5 rounds. Is this normal?
In real snooker, at the top level, safety play can be a large part of the game, with players continually playing safety shots and waiting for their opponent to make a mistake and leave a shot on. In Snooker Solitaire, however, this would make for a dull scenario. So playing safe, and indeed snookering, should occur much less frequently. Nevertheless, it is there should the opportunity present itself.

Quote:
...At this point I'm wondering if the game is really that hard.
By playing opponents in their order of ability you avoid the best players altogether and therefore, whilst fine for learning the game, any success in the final would be a somewhat hollow victory. Only by winning the tournament though facing opponents drawn 'from the hat' (note that the top 2 seeds don't enter the draw till later rounds) would you be considered a true champion!
Quote:
Impressions
What can I say? I adore this game. The tournament format reminds me of Baseball Highlights 2045 and it's really satisfying to encounter new opponents, all the while slowly strengthening your own chalk and power. Your opponents clear balls in an entirely different fashion than you but their AIs are perfect -- even giving them personalities. I love flipping over balls and 'clearing the table' bit by bit. I love sinking a really difficult shot. It feels like real snooker, and I'm totally hooked.

Not only that, but the single-match format means that if I'm in a rush, I can pick a single opponent, difficulty level, and have a very enjoyable ten minutes. Depending on my mood, I can either play a 45-minute think-fest against many different opponents, or a single sprint against the hardest opponent I think I can handle. I'm also totally determined to try for a maximum break, though it totally depends on the way the cards land and I don't know if it's technically possible.

In short, it's safe to say I love this game and I'm looking forward to playing it lots more in the future. Review forthcoming, but it's safe to say I'm hooked!

Wow, thanks. It's feedback like yours that make all the hours spent designing and testing worthwhile.

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Andrew J.
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Quote:
By playing opponents in their order of ability you avoid the best players altogether and therefore, whilst fine for learning the game, any success in the final would be a somewhat hollow victory. Only by winning the tournament though facing opponents drawn 'from the hat' (note that the top 2 seeds don't enter the draw till later rounds) would you be considered a true champion!


Indeed! And getting smoked by #4 in the final after only one shot totally corrected my misconception, too
 
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Jim Parkin
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Hmm, I never had a chance to play this one during the solitaire design contest, but my interest is piqued! Andrew, I really like the hi-res images you created.
 
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Andrew J.
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Try it. It'll make you love real snooker, too!
 
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