I do enjoy a game of pixel based snooker and pool and have played many different games over the years, from classics such as Jimmy White's Whirlwind Snooker and Archer Maclean's Pool to World Championship Snooker and Virtual Pool 3. Over the past few years I've found my enjoyment from online game iSnooker, but the high price and lack of improvements in that game have meant I've given up on it forever. So, having given International Snooker a couple of long sessions, where does it stand on the scale? Unfortunately, a far, far way from the top.
The interface for thisg ame is just poor beyond words. You can only cycle through frames, for example, by clicking on the field through all the options and if you go past the option yuo want, you have to click all the way through again to get to where you want. An option to just cycle up AND down would have been an obvious choice here. The menus are like this for everything and quickly become frustrating. Furthermore, most game modes are locked from the beginning and can only be unlocked by winning tournaments, so if you're keen to play pool more than snooker, you're going to have to play a lot of snooker for the privilege.
The gameplay itself does not fare much better. The camera options are limited to overhead and table level, which is pretty standard, but during a shot you have no control and the AI picks the most awkward angles to show the shots from. Pots that would be impossible in real life - and would indeed not even be attempted by the top pros - can be pulled off with ease here whilst the AI play is erratic at best. Black off the spot? Not if a thin cut pink to the green pocket that offers worse position for the next red is there for the taking. Of course that doesn't matter, as an equally outrageous red will then be pulled off the AI, who will then miss a simple black off the spot in what is a real Jekyll and Hyde display. Perhaps the pink up to baulk was the right shot after all?
The whole thing just feels like a huge step backwards from the games that have come before it. This is tedious, processional snooker at its most basic and uninspiring, and a game I simply can't find any reason to recommend to anyone.