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

124,125
Ben Stone, Paul Sumner, Mike Dunn
Chris Bourne

This is BINARY DESIGN 'S second futuristic ice hockey game: Xeno was the first, and now Hyperbowl makes its appearance.

The action takes place in an area of space viewed from above. Two players attempt to propel a large puck toward their opponent's goal line by colliding with it or shooting it. A point is scored if the puck passes over the line at the end of the pitch and two points earned if the puck enters the central goal.

The game lasts for five minutes, or until a player earns nine points. When a player scores, play returns to the centre of the field with the scorer facing away from the puck.

At the start of the game players select a ship from the ten available. Some move faster or accelerate quicker. Some fire homing shots, while others fire in a straight line.

The screen shows a segment of the pitch and includes a scanner which reveals the whereabouts of the ships in relation to the puck. This information is vital in the two player game - if your ship goes flying out of the game window, the only way to get it back is to use the scanner displays - the window is always centered on the puck.

Playing against the computer, there are three skill levels. If you win a game, you go onto the next round and face a tougher opponent. Win five games on the trot and you're the champ!

CRITICISM

'I'm not too pleased with Hyperbowl - it's another game which gives me the Impression that it was rushed at the programming stage. The idea Hyperbowl is very good although a bit more variation wouldn't go amiss. The front end is excellent but things start to get a bit tatty during the game. Controlling your ship is relatively easy, but blasting the ball about the place is tricky as it seems to move randomly no matter how precise your aim is. The graphics could have been improved greatly: with only three objects they could at least look right... Given the price, this isn't a bad game but I couldn't play it for long.' BEN

'The screen looks a bit plain but the scenario is good and the game is very playable. The presentation is excellent. Unfortunately the sound is poor. The game lacks tunes and is accompanied by a few `fun tuff' noises. The rules are very simple, and the pitch layout's not very complex. But this is what makes the game so addictive and exciting to play. The two player option is excellent if you can find an opponent of equal ability. Hyperbowl is a perfect budget game and well worth the asking price.' PAUL

'MASTERTRONIC have done a fair job with this one. The chance to select ships is very neat, and the whole game is very well executed: neat presentation with a good loading screen, nice packaging, and a highly attractive if sluggish title screen - in fact everything you don't usually see Ina cheap game. For £1.99, you get stacks of gameplay, and lots of addictive qualities; it might become boring in the distant future, but it has a lot more potential than many games five times its price.' MIKE

COMMENTS
Control keys
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Use of colour: monochrome action area
Graphics: a little basic perhaps
Sound: minimal
Skill levels: three
Screens: 32
General Rating: A very reasonable budget offering.

80%
60%
77%
73%
82%
76%