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1988
Arcade: Action
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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94,95
Phil King, Nick Roberts
Chris Bourne

Vectorball is the most popular sport in a distant dimension. The game is played by two fast-moving droids on a rectangular pitch. The playing area is rather unusual as it contains bumps and ditches to make play more tricky. The action is shown in isometric 3-D with the contours of the pitch indicated by the change in perspective of a grid pattern.

You can choose to take on either a computer (like our editor) or a human opponent (like Mark). (I thought you said 'human'? ED.) Your droid moves around the pitch, trying to gain possession of the ball. If he manages to shoot the ball into the goal area, he scores. Games can be played over three, five or seven minutes, and the first player to win four games is also the winner of the tournament.

Have you ever tried playing football in a skateboard park? Well, if you haven't, Vectorball is the perfect opportunity to try it out. In fact, the most varied aspect of this repetitive game is the choice of pitch; you can choose to have it made up totally of hills, ditches or waves and, for the more adventurous, there's even a mega-mix of the lot. The isometric graphics aren't exactly very colourful but the 'stretchy' look of the pitch makes it unique. Controlling your robot is difficult at first and you need to master a very tricky hill-climbing technique (which does get easier) before you can really progress. Vectorball provides a spot of fun a while but I doubt its lasting appeal.

NICK ... 52%

THE ESSENTIALS
JOYSTICKS: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair, Fuller
SOUND: limited to white noise spot effects
OPTIONS: on or two players. Choice of pitch and time limit

CRITICISM

'After admiring the great 3-D pitch effect, I thought that playing Vectorball would be a fun experience. Unfortunately, getting into the game is very difficult, mainly because of the awkward control system. Your droid is extremely sensitive to the slightest move and speeds off into the distance unless restrained. Not only that - when you're in possession, control becomes rotational so you can't move forward at all. This makes for some very dull matches because once a droid has the ball, all it can do is whack it up the pitch in the hope of scoring. The computer player is almost invincible and manages to thrash me every time. Though the two-player option should improve lastability, the frustrating one-player game soon loses its appeal.' PHIL … 64%

63%
Impressive grid-patterned pitch with boring, monochromatic sprites.
57%
Original comcecpt, but but awkward implementation spoils it.
55%
Little to keep you going for very long.
58%

Screenshot Text

Like playing ice hockey without skates.