Publisher: Virgin Games
Creator: Archer MacLean
What can I say about this one that hasn’t already been said? Probably lots, but I’m too lazy for that. Still, I thought I’d give this one another go after 20 years.
That catchy intro music and swirly colourful animated title screen brings back a few memories, well, memories of watching someone else play this. Someone who was reluctant to give up the mouse and let me have a go. Sitting back I used to watch Tom (the ‘easy’ level AI in the game) quickly dispatch his human opponent again and again, seeing how hard the game was I was probably pleased not to be playing. Still, the few times I did get to give it a go it was often a white wash, I didn’t dare try to play against Dick, Harry or Jimmy. I quickly moved onto Archer MacLean’s Pool and left this one in the box.
I didn’t fully appreciate this game back then (I was only 10, more interested in Turrican and Hunter if I remember rightly) but playing it now I’m actually enjoying it a lot more. Tom is just as hard to beat, but with patience and practice, I did start to show signs of improvement (200 more games and you’ve got him!). Too often whilst playing, just when I thought I was on a winning break, the pressure would get to much and I’d give it away. The final game came down to the pink and black. The games difficulty is probably the only criticism you could make, but with practice (and lots of patience) it is something you could probably overcome quite quickly.
After a few matches with Tom, just for a lark, I took on Jimmy, just to see what it was like difficulty wise. I scored 1 point. I’m happy with that. I’m sure the Jimmy level in the game is just in fact a demo, giving you control of the break (where I scored my 1 point) and momentarily giving you hope before Jimmy clears the table with lightning (whirlwind?) speed.
Back to Tom, who I played around 10 times, it was nice to see my scores improve with each game. Tom does make silly mistakes, often giving away points, but 1 or 2 mistakes doesn’t hide the fact his skill level increases dramatically after these, suddenly making incredibly difficult pots, high breaks, and often scoring even when a shot goes awry (jammy git). Just when you think you’ve won, he’ll knock the ball in from the next room without using his hands.
Still lots of fun to be had with this, it’s definitely a classic retro title, but more importantly, game play wise, it doesn’t feel dated at all. The controls are smooth and give you all the help, direction and angles you could possibly need for taking your shot. The sound effects are loud and fun, as are the funny faces and flies that appear on the table if you take too long over a shot. The graphics are bright and colourful but simple, which is exactly what you would expect and need for a snooker game.
My favourite part of the game, not that I was skilful enough to get one, was the round of applause that emanates from the darkness surrounding the table when you get a high enough break. It gives an extra dimension to the atmosphere of the game, one of my fondest memories is imagining the huge ‘unseen’ crowd watching on from the sidelines.
Difficultly aside the game play is still top, I’ll be playing this one for a long time to come.
Jimmy Whites Whirlwind Snooker Info Lemon Amiga http://www.lemonamiga.com/?game_id=616
Amiga Action 24 (Sep 1991) http://amr.abime.net/review_6134
Amiga Power 4 (Aug 1991) http://amr.abime.net/review_195
Check out the video below for Jimmy White’s Whirlwind Snooker on Commodore Amiga. Gameplay & Commentary from the awesome @SteveBenway
Please check out the links below, lots of Amiga and Amiga Games info to be had!
Hall of Light http://hol.abime.net/
Lemon Amiga http://www.lemonamiga.com/
Amiga Magazine Rack http://amr.abime.net/