Exclusive: Ronnie OSullivans Snooker Review

There is no shortage of pool games on the App Store, but most of them are of the Arcade variety, while I-play goes for a more realistic approach with Ronnie O’Sullivan Snooker and succeeds for the most part.


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Anyone remotely interested in pool knows the name Sullivan, and now you get to play some of the key moments of Ronnie O’Sullivan career scattered through four game modes: Practice, Quick Match, Career, and Local and Online Multiplayer.

All of these game modes involve playing the Billiards game of Snooker.  In Snooker, like all Billiards games, your goal is to hit balls, with the cue ball, into one of six pockets however in Snooker you play for points.

The game of snooker consists of  pocketing a mix balls in a specific order. The majority of balls these balls are red, there are also different colored balls scattered throughout the table each with their own specific point totals.   The objective is to to alternate between pocketing red balls and the other colored balls to obtain the highest score.

Knocking the wrong colored ball in the pocket will result in ending your turn and giving points away to your opponent. Don’t worry if this seems confusing at first, as there is a ball icon in the upper left hand corner of the screen that shows you what ball to hit next as well as a detailed set of instructions in the help menu.

In practice mode, you can, as the name would suggest, practice various shots, and if you make a mistake, you can undo your shot. In quick match, you can play versus Ronnie O’Sullivan at different stages in his career (different difficulties).  Campaign mode is a bit odd, but definitely unique.

Instead of playing complete matches, you jump in at crucial moments in crucial matches in Ronnie O’Sullivans career.  This is certainly different, but it proves to be fun, as the moments are very pressure packed, and it essentially reduces snooker to it’s most compelling moments.

Multiplayer can be done shared on one device (“hotseat”), over local Wifi, or over the Internet using Wifi or 3g.  Even over 3g, the online play was extremely fluid with zero lag (note: during testing, because the game wasn’t out, only two people were online.  The game may behave differently with full servers).

There is also chat so you can trash talk your opponent before a pressure-packed shot.  However, there is no online lobby, so you’re always matched up randomly, and you can’t even add an opponent, so there’s no way to play your friend.

It would have been nice to include some kind of Lobby for chatting and setting up matches against friends or foes.

There also is no leaderboard in the online session and  once the game is over it immediately disconnects you. It would have been nice to let me leave after thanking Glenn for letting my school him in snooker!

Controls are a bit different from other billiards titles, but they help give the game a more realistic and strategic feel rather than an arcade one.  To aim, you drag your finger around the screen.  While this does occasionally get annoying, it is worth it as it allows an unmatched level of precision.

IMG_0098Tapping a small cue ball icon zooms in on the ball, so that you can change the point of contact with the ball, thus creating spin or poping the ball up over another ball.  To adjust power, you pull back the virtual cue stick on the left.

When you have lined up the perfect shot, you hit an icon in the lower right corner of the screen to shoot.  You can also change the camera view from a first-person perspective to a top-down view by tapping a camera icon the upper-right corner of the screen.

The graphics are extremely realistic, and look fantastic.  Animations and collisions are extremely accurate, as are the overall physics.  Unlike in other pool games, the balls actually roll in the pockets rather than suddenly disappear as they approach the pockets.

There is no music in the game, but the sound effects are great.  Ball collision sounds are extremely accurate, and there are even some nice crowd cheers/jeers.

Ronnie O’Sullivan’s Snooker may not be for the casual pool player, but for pool players/fans, because of precise controls and unparalleled physics and graphics, it’s the absolute best and most realistic game of snooker on the iDevice.  I would really like to see I-play incorporate the ability to play other Billiards games into this physics and graphics engine as there is a lot of potential, but still, as it is, they have created a great game, and anyone looking for a great and challenging game of snooker shouldn’t miss.

Ronnie O’Sullivan’s Snooker, should be arriving June 27th. Look for it soon.

The Good

Unrivaled realistic physics
Great graphics
Precise Controls

The Bad

Only has Snooker- no other billiards games
No online lobby or way to play a specific person

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Leave a comment
  • MichaelMurtagh

    I’ve Never Really Played Snooker, Just Eight Ball, And I Think That Adding That Could Really Enhance The Game.

  • themendoz

    Yes, interaction is always good, but I must say I am really impressed with how this game looks.

  • ErichD

    Well, the graphics do a LOT for for this genre. Although, i should say that I bought a pool game (Midnight Pool?) for my wife’s T-Mobile phone, primarily based on gameplay value.

    It would great for this game to include a few game modes and a social aspect .. I’m recently addicted to Leaf Trombone World Stage, mainly asa a judge, but I love the idea of interaction with other players in real time. Hopefully, with a 3.0 update, this app will have some of those features!