1986
Arcade: Action
£9.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

108
Ben Stone, Paul Sumner, Mike Dunn
Chris Bourne

This could be the ball game of the future. In Hypaball two teams, the Hawks and the Vipers, compete against each other in a fast and exhilarating match. The idea is to pass a ball between the members of your team, and then shoot it through a hole in a moving dome. This dome slides up and down on a pole which runs down the middle of the pitch. The fact that it is moving makes it all the harder for a shot to be positioned accurately. By using your team members correctly it should be possible to keep the ball away from the opposition and score as many goals as possible.

There are three members in a team: a Grounder, Strike 1 and Strike 2. The Grounder walks along the bottom of the pitch, catching balls and throwing them up to the Strikers, who take shots at the goal. Each team member is equipped with a jet pack which is used to move around the pitch, for the game is played not on the ground, but vertically in the air.

At the start of the game the player gets the opportunity to pick a team from the players whose portraits appear on the selection board. As the cursor highlights a portrait, that player's name, age, height, weight, strength, agility and speed is shown to give an idea of what their performance is likely to be. As the choices are made, the computer selects its equivalent team member. Once a team of three has been chosen, a fanfare heralds the start of the game. There is a two-player option - if this is selected Player One controls the Hawks and player two controls the Vipers. The selection process is the same, but Player Two rather than the computer gets to choose a team.

A player can only hold the ball for two and a half seconds, before the ball is automatically passed to the opposition side's Grounder and the action starts all over again. Players can't tackle someone who is in possession of the ball, but as the ball can only be held for such a limited amount of time, it may be possible for a player to intercept it as it is being passed.

A clock on at the top of the screen counts down from 100, and the winning team is the one with the most goals when the time runs out.

CRITICISM

'What has happened to ODIN? What's happened to games like Nodes and Robin? As future sports simulations go this isn't all that bad, but it doesn't appeal to me in the slightest. There is no way I'd pay out ten quid for this slow and unplayable game. Graphically this is not up to ODIN's usual standard - the characters are well animated and drawn but the playing area is drab. The sound is perhaps the game's best feature; there is a great tune on the title screen and loads of effects during the game. I don't recommend this. It could (and should) have been so much better.' BEN

'When I saw the name 'Bernie Duggs' on the title screen I was expecting another great game, but alas it was not to be. Hypaball is hardly a game of the future, more like an idea of the past. The animation is quite good and the sound is above average, but the game contains very little to keep the player enthralled for long. Hypaball is well presented but the game itself is quite unplayable. I also found the graphics sometimes left bits of themselves all over the screen. There's a distinct lack of atmosphere and addictiveness here...' PAUL

'What a really tacky game this is! The graphics are very poor, and the characters move badly. The inlay left a lot to be desired, with virtually no instructions whatsoever. Some of the characters fail to move quickly enough for it to be termed a reflex game, which is certainly what it should be. The responses are too slow on the user controlled players, making the way in which the computer players score 95% of the time both frustrating and aggravating. The advertisement is pretty, though.' MIKE

COMMENTS
Control keys: definable - up, down, left, right, fire
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Use of colour: simple but effective
Graphics: small, but well detailed and cute
Sound: jolly tune at the beginning with spot effects throughout
Skill levels: one
Screens: two
General Rating: A disappointing game which tarnishes Odin's reputation.

69%
62%
49%
52%
42%
56%

Screenshot Text

Picking a team to enter the HYPABALL arena - an ugly bunch aren't they?

The Hawks and the Vipers battle it out, with the Vipers taking an eight-goal lead and 89 moments remaining on the clock.