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Sport: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Jim Douglas
Chris Bourne

What? You cannot be serious? Wimbledon finished months ago and Mirrorsoft are now releasing Passing Shot, probably the most tennisy game you've ever come across in your whole life.

In case you haven't played the coin op, here's what goes on. You find yourself on centre court in the middle of a big tennis championship. Here's your opportunity to become an international megastar overnight.

Passing Shot is all about the serious aspects of tennis. None of this Ra-ra doesn't matter whether you win rubbish. If you lose, you're out. If you win, you're on a highway to glory.

You can play alone against the computer or team up with a mate and play the fiendish machine at doubles. Either way you're faced with an escalating scale of ever tougher opponents.

Serving is viewed from the spectators' point of view, just like Wimbledon on the telly. You toss the ball into the air and hit FIRE at the moment appropriate for the service you desire.

WHACK! Immediately, the screen changes to an overhead view and the ball gets bigger as it gets higher. You can see the computer controlled player scrabbling around, trying to work out where the ball is going to fall. Not a hope. An Ace. Smashing start. Obviously, you won't be fortunate enough to serve so successfully all the time, and you'll more likely than not find yourself on the wrong end of an ace return.

Once in a rally, anticipation is the name of the game. You're not going to get anywhere simply standing on the baseline and waiting for the other guy to make his move. Get right into the net, crank up your reaction time and hammer the guy into the dust.

The rougher your opponent, the faster the game and eventually you should be moving into position for your next shot immediately after playing one. By controlling the destination of the ball, you can dictate where your opponent has to run and therefore what sort of shot he is likely to return.

Graphically Passing Shot isn't a marvel. There simply isn't much room for fancy graphics in an overhead game without making the screen look cluttered. If you'll forgive the slightly naff looking white figures (what colour would you rather have a tennis player, pink?) and pay attention to the things like the ever-increasing size of the rising ball and the animations of the serving action, you'll agree that graphically we're not talking a fault (har har).

Passing Shot is a corker of a game. I'm not a big fan of sports simulations as a whole, but this one's smash hit with me (haw haw).

Label: Mirrorsoft
Author: In-house
Price: £8.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Jim Douglas

An ace!