Newest Review: ... some games offering nothing more than a stick and a ball to be whacked around a dodgy coloured table. So when I came across funkysnooker.... more
The web's gone potty!
Member Name: oxonian
Advantages: Superb website, easy to play, fun and realistic
Disadvantages: Very hard to win tournaments - but so it should be!
Funkysnooker.com is a website where you can play online snooker, either practicing on the table by yourself, or by playing one of the hundreds of thousands of online members or guests.
There are two types of Snooker you can play on funkysnooker - Arcade Snooker and normal Snooker.
On the website, this is the more popular of the two snooker types, mainly because it is a lot easier to play.
The game is played in overhead format, but the table is not to scale, being more the size of a 9ft x 5ft American pool table than a 12ft x 6ft snooker table. The balls are about to scale for American pool too, along with fairly substantial pockets to fit them in.
There are 10 reds on the table, as opposed to the usual 15; hence the maximum break you can achieve is a 107, instead of a 147.
Similarly, this is played in overhead format. However, as the table is more to scale, it is a lot harder to break build - the pockets and balls are very small and the size of the table is large.
There are 15 reds on this table, therefore a 147 is achievable.
How to play
The way to hit an object ball is to point the cursor on the area of the ball you want to hit, click the left mouse button, pull the mouse towards you to draw back as far and as powerfully as you need to, and then push the mouse forward to hit the cue ball towards the object ball. You can control the type of spin you want to put on the shot e.g. back, running or check sidespin, and this is very accurate.
Playing on the site
You can either play on this website as a guest or as a member.
If you wanted to play as a guest, you can literally go to the website now, click on the option to 'play as guest' at the top of the left hand menu on the main screen, and then a separate window will open up that loads the table, and you can be playing within seconds. As a guest, there is no ranking system, hence you can only play friendlies, but you can still play against members and other guests in friendly games.
As a member, you have a personal profile. You can upload a picture, and put your basic details such as age and nationality. Your profile also contains two record cards - one to track your accomplishments for Arcade Snooker and one for normal Snooker. They contain your wins and losses (which are counted on an individual game basis, not match basis), ranking points, and the amount of maximum breaks, centuries and half-centuries achieved.
Only members can play ranked games and create games with their own title for it, such as 'sean_paul's game or 'Good players only', and time limits on shots can be set.
How to join a game
Once you have accessed the game window, underneath the table will be a chat window saying that you are in a chat room, and you can talk to other people in the room. If you sign in as a member, you will go into the 'members bar', and if you are a guest you will go into the guest chat room. Along the bottom right corner, to the right of the chat window, you can bring up an options screen where you can either move to another chat room, create a game, join a game or watch a game currently under progress (you'd mostly use this to watch friends or a really exciting head to head). There will also be a list of games on the left hand side of these options, and if a game has '(waiting)' next to the title, e.g. "sean_paul's game (waiting)", then you can click on this game, and click 'Join' to access the game room facing the opponent. You then click the icon that has a rack of balls to start the game.
There is a ranking system on funkysnooker. When you register, you start off as a 'Newbie' with 650 ranking points. As you win ranking games you accumulate points which is explained more below, and if you lose, ranking points are taken away from your total.
Once you have played over 50 or so games, you will lose the title 'newbie', and be classified by one of the following ranks:
Intermediate: 600 - 699 points
Adept: 700 - 799.9 points
Professional: 800 - 899.99 points
Virtuoso: 900 + points.
The amount of points you accumulate when you win a game is relative, dependent on your rank, and the rank of the player you beat. If you are an intermediate and you beat a virtuoso, you will attain around 10 to 15 points, whereas if you beat another intermediate, you will obtain around 2 or 3 points.
Single games are classified into two parts - a friendly game or a ranking game. The main difference between the two is that if you win or lose a friendly, your wins / losses record will change, but your ranking score will be unaffected. In a ranking match, the time limit to take a shot can be much less - usually 20 seconds or less, and the outcome of the match will either see you gain or lose points from your ranking score. In a friendly, the time limit can be around 2 minutes to take a shot.
Five tournaments take place on the site per day for both Arcade and normal Snooker, and there are usually 6 rounds in each tournament dependant on how large the intake for the tournament is - 1st round, 2nd round, 3rd round, Quarter Final, Semi Final and the Final. All matches leading up to the final are a best of 1, and the final is usually a best of 5.
Entering a tournament is very simple, but you have to be logged on as a member to play it - on the homepage, when you click on 'tournaments' on the left side menu, you are taken to a page which informs you of the upcoming tournaments. 10 minutes before a tournament is to begin, there is an option on the tournament screen to 'Enter Tournament'. You will then have to click 'Play game' on the main page to open up the game window, and then when the tournament begins, in the chat window underneath the table, an invite will appear to play your opponent for the first match, which you can accept. Once you accept, it takes you straight to the match table to play the first round. If the intake is not that high, you may get a bye straight into the second round.
Normally, the best players come out for the tournament to take on each other. The professionals and virtuosos are expert break builders and normally leave absolutely nothing when they miss, so they nearly always triumph. There are about 15 virtuosos that are nearly impossible to beat, and have around 30 tournament wins between them. One of them is called sean_paul, who has amassed around 40 maximums on Arcade Snooker and achieved multiple centuries on normal. He has posted a couple of these onto youtube.com, which are worth watching.
Quality of the website
I have been a member of funkysnooker.com for over a year, and in that time the website has undergone a few changes. They have a forum, which can be accessed from the main screen, and the moderators of the site are very keen to take ideas on board and implement them if very good. The general layout is presented very neatly and professionally, and you can navigate your way around the options with ease.
Furthermore, the moderators make sure that bad language is non-existent within the chat rooms and dialogue during games. They do this by warning offending members to not swear if they are doing so, and subsequently 'booting' them, if they persist, from playing games or accessing the chat rooms. They will not be able to log in for 10 minutes.
There is a FAQ section, accessible from the menu on the main page for any queries that you cannot find answers to on the general website. Overall, therefore, this site is excellent and managed closely and effectively.
I personally think funkysnooker is incredibly addictive for two reasons, a) because I am extremely competitive, and b) because I am constantly trying to beat my highest break. I do play it obsessively, but I very often play as a guest, meaning that as a member, my record card does not reflect how successful I am at the game. I have beaten four or five of the best virtuosos, although I have amassed only 3 half-centuries. For the general population, it is a lot of fun if you like snooker.
It is very easy to play once you get the hang of it, and the way the cue ball responds to the type of spin you put on it is very accurate. This means that this game is as close to reality as possible. So much so that it has done wonders for how well I play snooker and pool in real life. I am now no longer so bad with positional play and coupled with my potting skills, I am far more adept. Having said that, I have never amassed a break of over 40, but I am getting there.
Thanks for reading!
Summary: All in all, this is an absolutely fantastic game and website.