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Sport: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes

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Graham Taylor
Chris Bourne

Championship Basketball is a release from Activision's Gamestar label - a follow-on from Championship Baseball, two months ago.

Frankly, the game looks completely awful. Some of the least impressive miniscule sub-budget game sprites I've seen in ages run around like little ants, attribute probleming each other into oblivion when the going gets tough and four people are around the basket at once. Try playing a sensible defence routine under those circumstances!

Sound is equally dull consisting almost entirely of obscure farping (that's farping) noises, no matter what the game circumstances.

It's the gameplay that's the tricky bit. I managed to score the same number of points as the computer without having a clue what I was doing.

There are, however, facilities within the game for quite subtle plays. Aside from the straightforward business of chasing the ball, learning how to get it away from another player without committing a foul, and lining yourself up with the basket properly at the beginning of each play you can select from four plays each depending on whether you are defending or attacking.

Each play type is basically a series of instructions to the other member of your team and determines his movement in the play for the basket. For example, one attacking move is to send your team-mate straight to the basket, ready for a pass at the right moment. Other alternatives include marking one or other of the other side's team members. It seems sophisticated but I'm really unsure of how much it all counts for in the actual game. I found just running around a bit and throwing the ball when I got a spare moment into the general direction of either my team mate or the basket just as effective.

Personally I hated this game. It might be arguable as to whether the gameplay is marvellous or terrible but it looks absolutely dire.

Label: Gamestar
Author: Simon Freeman
Price: £7.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Graham Taylor

A simulation of American Basketball with two players a side! Thoroughly implemented but looks appalling.