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

31
Marcus Berkmann
Chris Bourne

Futuristic sports are all the rage, and have you ever known Mastertronic let an opportunity slip? Course not. So here's Hyperbowl, not to be confused with Firebird's similarly named Hypaball, previewed in the YS sports feature. A 35th century version of ice hockey, it sadly leaves out all the interesting aspects of that extraordinary sport - the bad language, the funny clothes and, of course, the sickening violence. Instead you just bash a ball around, trying to score goals against an unnamed opponent. Not that you have to bash it yourself. Remember, this is the 35th century! No, you climb into your Class 1 Trident spacecraft and fire with your nose cannons. You'll soon pick it up!

You can choose any of ten different ships, each with its own special strengths and weaknesses. By trial and error, you should eventually find one that suits you best. Then it's just a matter of propelling the ball towards your opponent's goal. Bounce it off his goal-line and you get one point. Hit the goal itself and you get two points. The first to nine wins.

There's really not much more to it. Practice helps, as with any game, but I'm not entirely convinced that many people will stay with it for as long as that. The graphics are fairly primitive, so there's nothing to distract you from the mundane nature of the game itself. Still, it's a cheapie version of other, far better games, and if you haven't got the dosh, it's a perfectly reasonable substitute.

7/10