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Beyond Software
Arcade: Solo beat-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Rick Robson
Chris Bourne

It's that daft time of year when good money's thrown away on trite ideas based on tried and trusted trashy formulae in the hope that poor Joe Soap Public will lash out with the spondulics. But what has the Eurovision Song Contest got to do with this game I hear you ask? The two main characters are tied up like 'Puppets on a string' one of whom is bound to meet his 'Waterloo' - and you might want to 'Boom-Bang-a-Bang' with someone's head for coming up with this load of round bouncy things.

The 'idea' of the game is that two warriors who're tied to big elastic bands must kill each other by catching a ball that ricochets around the room. They fire it at each other or engage in hand to hand combat. It takes real skill to avoid the ricochets, catch the ball and hurl it at your opponent without backing into a wall and falling over. You can jump and duck (a teensy bit) or go back and forth. Otherwise you've the manoeuvrability of an Arsenal forward with his legs tied together (which is more, I might add, than when they're not).

Yes, there's a vague suggestion of Mad Maxish gladiatorial warriors tied to what looks like extending dog leads and fighting to the death. Yes, there's a hint of Roller Ball as the projectile whizzes around and gets shot into the arena at different angles and speeds. And there's no little skill required to catch the ball in the first place. But the premise of the game goes back to the dinosaur days of the first computer squash games. And what a wimp title! 'Bounces'! Why not call it what there's load of in the game and what everyone will be saying after they've played it. 'Balls!'

As the say in the Euro Compo - "Beyond - 0 points". Still, it takes the heat off Norway.