Ariolasoft UK Ltd
Eric Hammond
Sport: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K

Chris Bourne

The last game that we reviewed from Ariolasoft was Archon, a sort of chess/wargame. Their new offering is a basketball simulation. The only common factor between the two games is their American parentage. Both games are hits in America on the Apple, and have now been converted for the Spectrum.

One on One is not a full simulation of Basketball instead it simulates the traditional two man American game where one all American boy takes on another all American boy in a mini competition. Clearly Dr (of Basketball?) Julius Erving and Larry Bird play this type of game a lot. They are the chaps who advised on its technical content and they also feature as the two players in the game. The idea of the two personality players allows you to add a little variety to the game, since the computer can be asked to adopt one of the two programmed personalities while your chap takes on the other persona. Erving (in white strip) is quicker at getting to the basket and has a much longer reach while Bird (in the blue) is bigger and stronger and tends to play a more intimidating game.

You can make your player move left/right, forwards/backwards and, when the time is right, jump and release the ball. The opening menu allows you to select which controls you want, keyboard or joystick. But before you begin there are a number of other options that also need to be set up. First, you can choose the type of rules under which you want to play. The easiest option park and recreation means that the referee is blind. The fourth and hardest level is Pro, and in this mode sneezing out of turn could lead to a penalty. Another option lets you decide who is to have possession of the ball after a point has been scored, either the winner or the loser of the point. The game can be played either until a set time has been reached or until a set score has been achieved. The timed game gives further options allowing you to decide how long a quarter will be: 2, 4, 6 or 8 minutes. The time remaining in a game is displayed on the master score board during a match.

A list of possible fouls comes with the documentation, but how strictly the rules are enforced depends on the referee not only on his eyesight but also on how reliable he is. Another factor that will affect your player's performance is his level of fatigue. The more running and jumping that you make him do the more tired he will become, and he will begin to slow down. The fatigue level for each player is shown by two thin blue bars at the bottom of the screen. If your player is getting very tired and slow you can reduce his fatigue level by a bit of gentle dribbling (!) or by calling a time out.


'After seeing the picture on the back of the package I was expecting a good game. However, when I loaded the game I checked the picture again and discovered that it was a CBM 64 screen shot, of course! One on One suffers from rather yucky graphics, and monochrome players that don't move at all well. The game was neither addictive or playable. On the whole the graphics are a let down for a game which offers so many options'

'When I saw this game in the in Tray 1 was pretty excited, after all I was growing a little bored with Matchday. However after loading it I quickly changed my mind. The graphics are apalling - this game gets the prize for attribute clash. One of the men is supposed to be wearing a white shirt but he looks like he has got a hole through his chest - you can see the court markings right through him! To make matters worse the characters look as if they are walking on the moon. When I actually got down to playing the game I was horrified to find that the other player could nick the ball without being anywhere near me. All in all this is a very difficult game to play and I just don't think that it's worth the effort trying'

'This is my first attempt at a basketball game and I must say if this is anything to go by it will be my last. The game is slow, boring and silly. Shooting and stealing seems entirely down to luck and the sound is terrible. I also found that the opening menu, where you are expected to set up the game options, was very complicated to use. They only good thing about the game was the package it came in, but it would have been a good idea to have included some basic basketball rules.'

Control keys
Joystick: Kempston and interface 1
Keyboard play: fair
Use of colour: poor
Graphics: very poor
Sound: poor
Skill levels: four
Screens: one
General Rating: Buying this wouldn't be a good way to spend your money.