Video Hustler: Classic Arcade Game Video, History & Game Play Overview

History

Video Hustler was the first billiards themed releases from Konami. More widely known by the names Lil' Video Hustler and Hustler, this arcade title features an overheard view of a pool table, but curiously, there are no pool sticks. There is no theme music to Video Hustler, but there are a couple of distinctive sound effects. Coming out in 1981, Konami is both the developer and the publisher for all arcade versions of Video Hustler.

There were no known ports for Video Hustler until rights were purchased by Microsoft in 2010. An updated version of Video Hustler is now featured on Xbox Live, which is an online platform where gamers can access this title if they are verified Microsoft customers. Although very basic, Video Hustler served as the inspiration for a few copycat titles as well as more sophisticated billiards video games released in the 1980s and the 1990s. Up to two players can play Video Hustler simultaneously, but alternating turns must be taken.

 

Game Play Overview

Video Hustler is a very simplistic arcade game. Levels are called patterns, and a small white marker is used to determine the angle of each shot. The objective is to get a high score. Only the five highest scores on any Video Hustler arcade machine were recorded.

Using the left, right, up and down keys, you must move this marker so that your invisible pool stick can strike the white cue ball and hit the colored balls. The idea is to get as many balls into the holes in as few shots as possible. At the start of every stage, six colored balls are racked and placed in the middle of the table. If you scratch the cue ball, that is, knock it into the pocket, you will lose a turn.

Scoring is based on a couple of factors. Each colored ball is numbered from one to six. Depending on the number of turns that it takes for you to complete a level, you will receive points based on the number etched on the cue ball that is multiplied by the 'bonus.'

Additionally, each pocket is assigned a multiplier. These values can shift and change according to the number of colored balls left on the table as well as angle of the last shot taken. Players are able to control the speed that the white cue ball travels by moving the angle marker. Parallel and horizontal shots always move faster than shots taken at awkward angles. The speed of the cue ball can also be increased when you attempt to hit a colored ball that is close by.

Special Features

There is a perfect score bonus in Video Hustler that can be achieved when you complete a pattern within six shots. A total of 5,000 extra points is given when this occurs. There are also bonuses given for tricks shots. For example, you will get extra points when two or three balls go into the pockets with a single shot.

Icons

Colored balls – There are six colored balls on each level. These balls must be cleared from the pool table before you can go to the next level.

Angle marker – The angle marker is a small white dot that is controlled with the directional keys. Move it around the table until it is in an ideal position.

Cue ball – This white cue ball also helps to control the angle of each shot.

How to Play Video Hustler

All players are given three lives at the start of a game. The game starts with a basic instruction screen written in multicolored fonts. There, you will find the baselines describing point values for trick shots, the perfect score bonus and other interesting tidbits of information.

Video Hustler starts with an image of a green pool table and a rack of six colored balls. Your first move is the break, where you move the angle marker and strike the cue ball. After that, you will continue to move the angle marker, in an attempt to hit the white cue ball into different colored balls. The total score will increase as you knock each of the six balls into pockets.

When a level is successfully completed, the pattern number indicated at the bottom of the screen will change. While you can start off at different difficulty levels, the actual game play in Video Hustler is quite similar. The positioning of each new rack of balls will not change as you progress. Because Lil' Video Hustler has infinite game play, there is no way to 'flip' or beat this title.

Hints and Tips
- The way in which you 'break' each rack of balls at the start of every new level will have a major impact on how quickly you are able to clear the stage. Try to knock the cue ball straight into the group of six colored balls so that at least one or two go into the pockets.

- Scratching the cue ball is the only way to lose a life in Video Hustler.

- If you can, try to knock the colored balls into the pocket with the highest multiplier value, which is 10. However, you do not want always want to avoid making closer or easier shots, especially if you are sure that you can make it. Remember that the multiplier value of a pocket will automatically change if you miss the shot.

 

We hope you enjoyed the video and the information shared on this classic arcade game.


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