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Mastertronic Ltd
1986
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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55
Graham Taylor
Chris Bourne

Hyperbowl is another one of those Mastertronic games which manages to create a new idea out of a couple of old ones. In this case Asteroids meets American Football creating a game which could have been called Footoids or Asterball but wasn't, thankfully.

Remember in the olden days when computers only had two graphics and spaceships just looked like triangles? So it is with the Hyperbowl playing screen. Two triangles, or similar geometric shapes, do battle on a playing area which consists of black, with the occasional dotted line dividing the blackness into large squares of emptyness. Beyond being a poetic concept it has no function in the game except to help you get a rough idea where you are.

The game is simple. You use your geometric spaceship to barge or fire a puck across the opponent's goal line. You get one point ordinarily, or two if you manage to push it into a line that marks the middle section of the goal. Obviously the other ship is going to be blasting and barging the puck in the other direction. Like Asteroids the ships, lacking friction, are somewhat difficult to control - it takes a while to build up momentum and, having got moving, it is very easy to hurtle at zillions of miles an hour straight past where you wanted to go.

Vital to having any idea about what is going on is a scanner which fills the right hand section of the screen - this shows you where you are, where the other ship is and where the puck is. I managed to survive for a while on idiots level, but clearly thrashing the thing on sensible skill levels will be very difficult indeed.

Label: Mastertronic
Author: Steve Hughes
Price: £1.99
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Graham Taylor

****

Asteriods meet American Football. Both win. Simple to learn difficult to master. Another Mastertronic winner.

4/5