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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Arcade

 

Publisher

Avalanche Team

 

Developer

Avalanche Team

 

ESRB

N/A

 

Released

July 2004

 

 

- Air hockey without the massive loss of floor space

- Should replace solitaire at work

- Play over LAN

 

 

- Multiplayer options very limited

 

 

Review: Activision Anthology (PS2)

Review: Donkey Kong (GBA)

 

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Air Hockey 3D

Score: 7.3 / 10

 

If you’ve never come across an air hockey table, here’s a synopsis.  A table setup to resemble a hockey rink has a few hundred tiny holes through which rushing air escapes.  Upon the air is a flat puck about the size of a beer coaster.  Two people at opposing sides of the table are equipped with hard plastic gnome hats – that what they look like – in their hands.  They use these to defend their goals and send the disc whizzing across the table in an attempt to score on their opponent.  If you’ve ever played air hockey you know how frenetic a play session can be and Avalanche Team tries to capture that same experience with Air Hockey 3D (AH3D).

 

air hockey 3d review         air hockey 3d review

 

For most, AH3D will be a time waster only – something to take the place of solitaire – since it’s easy to play for a couple of minutes then switch to something else (as the boss walks in).  The computer AI can put up a mighty challenge but if you’re only playing by yourself you might as well be playing solitaire.  Fortunately, AH3D features head-to-head play via the Internet and LAN.

 

Setting up and connecting to games suffers from one thing: rudimentary connection method.  There are two options: start a server and join a game.  After searching for about ten seconds the game reports “no server found.”  I tried for the better 

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part of three hours to join a game with no success.  The same went for setting up a server.  I had a server active for almost four hours and no one joined.  Knowing the IP address of a player to setup games is the better way to go.  While this is fine for play at the office it all but eliminates the chance for online tournaments.  Maybe with a sequel or patch…  

 

On the positive side AH3D feels like air hockey with the puck reacting realistically but with zero threat of being beaned by a gnome hat.

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The developers have attempted to make things more snazzy with very slick gnome hats (controlled extremely well with the mouse) and a few extra modes of play, including a whacked Arcade mode that has a lot of surprises.  While these in no way detract from the experience it would have been interesting to allow for some customization, like images on the play surface.

 

Air Hockey 3D is available for download for $20US from Avalanche Team. (There is a free demo.) It may come up a little short on the online component, but it’s still a solid purchase if you want something other than solitaire.

 

- Omni

(September 18, 2004)

 

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