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Elite Systems Ltd
Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Jonathan Davies
Chris Bourne

"Almost as addictive as banana Nesquik," concluded Dunc when this one fell into his hands a couple of years ago. And it certainly is. What we've got here is essentially a scrolling bouncing ball game which, just for a change, scrolls from left to right. You've actually got four balls to keep an eye on, and they all stick together in a long snakey thing. It's a bit like having all your eggs in one basket, except they're, erm, balls.

There's absolutely nothing you can do to stop the balls bouncing along. All you can manage is to make them speed up, slow down or bounce a little bit higher. This makes collecting things which need to be collected a trifle tricky, and avoiding nasties even harder still. You've actually got to pick up ten balloons on each level in order to progress along onto the next one, and because they tend to drift around a bit this is by no means an easy task. But the really scary part is that whenever any of your balls get hit by anything they burst. And one all four have popped, that's it - end of game.

Easy it's not. You'll need loads of patience. Loads of it. And you'll also need to develop a whole new gaming technique, as Hopping Mad isn't quite like anything else at all. But your patience will be rewarded, as they say, because it's a smart, tidy little game and very hard to hate.


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Boing boing, balls ahoy!