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Developer: Ornith OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Activision 1-2 Player
Game Type: Pool Sim Memory Card
Review Date: October 1998 Standard Joypad

Setting the Scene

Pool Hustler is about as realistic as a game could be regarding the
seldom heard of sleazy world of pool hustling.  You can go from pool
hall to pool hall meeting characters that you wouldn't think could 
kick your butt on the table.. but just may end up surprising you. 

You start out against a young punk called Joe. Don't be fooled by his 
playing ability as each opponent is programmed to lure you in, then 
take all your dough. 

You will need to hone all your skills, as you will be called upon to 
face twelve tough opponents while you travel through the dimly lit
back streets. 

Your goal is to hustle all comers, advancing from each city to become 
the ultimate pool shark.


Pool Hustler is a simulated pool game using realistic geometry to hustle
each player out of his or her money. It is a one or two player game with
many game modes such as 8 ball,  9 ball and rotation. You can challenge
up to 12 players in 2D (top down view) or 3D graphics.


I though the use of light sourcing on the balls and table to present that 
realistic "feel" was quite good, while all of the ball colors were very 
bright and realistic.  I was also impressed by the reflection of light off 
the balls, cue stick, and table. 

The field of vision on and around the table was quite good.  The overall 
look of the game was adequate enough for a sports title where little or 
no other movement was going on around you.   

There was very little evidence of pixilation mostly due to the fact that 
movement in the game is only on the table.  However it was noticeable 
occasionally on and around the inner edges of the table.  

I didn't like the fact that the characters were all static and there was 
virtually no background movement.  Generally I felt the players moved 
quite slowly and methodically through the entire game.  

There was a small amount of FMV showing some players at the beginning of 
the game, but I was hoping for a bit more.

Sounds and Effects

Even though the music changes at each level I felt the it should have 
been pumped up a little bit more.  What I really needed was something 
to psyche me up... some typical bar music, rock etc, therefore I choose 
to turn it off.  

The overall sound of the balls at the break, the rolling on the table 
and actual strikes were as good as it gets.  If you listen closely you 
can even hear the balls rolling down the throat of the table after they 
are in sunk the pockets.


This is the first video pool game I have ever played and found it to be 
quite a challenge.  I recommend trying the practice mode for a while to 
get use to the angles of the shots and lay of the table.  There are lots 
of various options just like in real pool where you can add english to 
the ball, jump shots, etc.  But that is not your only obstacle.  Each 
player you will meet along the way becomes increasingly more difficult. 
I liked the basic layout the game provided in the wide array of modes 
and the various options it provided.  Also in story mode you can set the 
difficulty level. I suggest that you stick to amateur for a couple of 
racks till you get the hang of it.

In storymode you begin at the local pool hall where you will be 
challenged by a pool hustler wanna-be.   Once you place your bet and
kick his ass it's on to the next pool hall and a progressively more
difficult player.   Each pool hall has it's own distinctive pool table
and musical theme associated with it.  This makes the one-player game
much more interesting and interactive.

The game can move along at a fairly fast or slow pace depending on your
skill level. I felt the challengers could have picked up the pace a
little bit and there are too many practice strokes (4 to be exact). 

Two-player games are fun as well allowing you to go one on one against a
friend.  Getting into the Trick shot option is also a lot of fun.  Just
try popping a ball off the table!

Overall I found Pool Hustler to be a nice little diversion but certainly
not one of your typically action packed sports titles.  It does
successfully fill a void in the Playstation library though and is worth
checking out.

Value for Money

Overall, Pool Hustler is a good bang for the buck.  It presents a
constant challenge for any player, no matter what skill level player you

I would have liked to see a bit more action going on in the bar and
also the use of some third person action to give the game a bit more
atmosphere. Well, maybe in Pool Hustler 2. 
GRAPHICS: 15/20 Hey, if you are looking for a smoky poolroom with gorgeous babes, loud music and pretzels on the floor Pool Hustler is not the game for you.

On the other hand, if you are looking to relax crack open your favorite beverage, a bag of Doritos and have a few hours of fun then Pool Hustler will provide with its various array of characters and play modes.
SOUND: 5/10
VALUE: 16/20


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