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Charles Goodwin
Arcade: Solo beat-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Andy Smith
Chris Bourne

A Superior boxing game???

Sometimes a person has to cheat, simple as that. Whether it's typing in a poke or making illegal moves in a boxing match, sometimes it's the only solution.

In this one or two player boxing sim it's the illegal moves that are needed as you challenge for the Championship. Playing solo, that means taking on six increasingly difficult opponents on your way to the top, and then more in defence of your crown.

There are fifteen rounds per bout and a total of eight available moves, four fair and four foul. The two boxers are viewed side-on, while a referee wanders around the ring watching the boxers - most of the time! A small icon of your boxer in the top corner changes colour according to how much attention the referee is paying. A red icon means he's watching like a hawk, a yellow one means you've got a chance of getting away with an illegal move and green means it's definitely time to start letting loose with head butts, kicks and groin punches. You don't have to keep an eye on the indicator all the time, because the ref often falls asleep and a large speech bubble full of ZZZZ's appears.

If your man gets caught making an illegal move, the ref shouts "foul" and you lose one of your five lives. You also have to be careful not to get too close to the other boxer, because the contestants go into a hold and swap sides. If this happens too often, you lose another life.

By Fair Means... is by no means a good boxing sim. The gameplay is poor and it's got little in it of any challenge. Admittedly it's supposed to be more of a laugh than a serious simulation, but it's doubtful you'll find it entertaining for long.


Spectrum, £7.95cs £12.95dk Reviewed
Amstrad, £9.95cs £14.95dk, Imminent
C64/128, £9.95cs £11.95dk Reviewed

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 50/100
1 hour: 50/100
1 day: 30/100
1 week: 25/100
1 month: 10/100
1 year: 0/100

Doesn't last the distance.


Banner Text


The mostly monochrome graphics are adequate, but the animation is poor (the way the ref moves especially) and this, couple with weak sound effects, does little to keep you interested.


The graphics are more colourful but they're just as badly animated. Again the sound is poor, and you won't be playing this is an year's time.

Graphics: 6/10

Audio: 2/10

IQ Factor: 1/10

Fun Factor: 5/10

Ace Rating: 338/1000

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 60/100

1 hour: 50/100

1 day: 30/100

1 week: 25/100

1 month: 10/100

1 year: 0/100

Screenshot Text

C64 - you've a fair chance of getting away with a low blow - should you risk it?