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Sport: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Clare Edgeley
Chris Bourne

IMAGINE'S seemingly endless trek through the backlist of Konami's coin-op games has finally reached the basketball court.

First impression of World Series Basketball weren't great - small featureless players chasing an equally small ball round a scrolling court. But those were instantly revised once play started - it's a hard game to beat. No matter that you have only four players, the opposing team has the same.

Play starts on the centre line when the ball is tossed into the air. The computer team must have been practising with the Harlem Globetrotters, expertly catching and passing the ball, shooting and tackling with skill. It's hard enough keeping up with them, let alone trying to take the ball away.

Basketball is played according to the rules and the game is as accurate as possible on the Spectrum. Watch out for time penalties. If you hang onto the ball for too long it will be given to the other side. Tackling is difficult, retaining the ball harder still and it takes a while to be able to judge distances and angles when passing. Half time takes place after three minutes when the teams swap ends.

The player handling the ball takes on a different colour from his team mates for recognition purposes. However, that can be confusing, especially with the attribute clash as the colour leaks onto any other players in proximity.

It is also possible to lose your player. If the opposing team takes the ball down to their end of the court, only that half of the court is shown on the screen. If you are not quick enough you will be left behind - literally out of the picture. While you are trying to locate your player the opposing team are scoring several goals. You just can't win.

Clare Edgeley

Publisher: Imagine
Price: £7.95
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair