Hyper Bowl
Copyright/Publisher: MAD/Mastertronic, Author: Binary Design,
Release Year: 1987, Genre: Weird Sports, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

Hyperbowl is the fastest growing participant sport in the Empire. Over the past twenty years the number of playfields springing up has increased dramatically. Mastertronic is proud to bring you the first OFFICIAL Hyperbowl computer simulation! Only ours is officially sanctioned by the National League and contains all the features of this thrilling adversarial sport. Every one of the ten ship classes is represented here and their comparative performances have been faithfully reproduced.

For those unfamiliar with the game ( where have you been for the last decade? Asleep? ) let's recap the rules of the 'bowl: -

The aim is simply to score more points than your opponent. One point is gained for bouncing the puck off the end of the playfield ( goalline ) defended by the opposition, called a line goal. Two points are scored for driving the puck onto the centrally-placed goal ( or register ) just in front of his goal-line.

The puck can touch this from any direction, even from behind. After a score the play restarts from the centre with the ship which scored last faced away from the puck. Both puck and ships are held within the area of play on the matrix by boundary lines, from which they will rebound. The game is thus continuous - there are no stoppages - except when a score is made - and a game lasts five minutes, or until one player amasses more than nine points ( called a 'killing' ).

The players move the puck by either shooting at it with their ( now standardised ) nose cannon or by deliberately colliding with it.

All the licensed ship types are designed to achieve the same level of performance, but in different ways. The friction rating between the linear motor drives, and the playfield itself can be set anywhere between 1000 and 3500 units. Low friction craft accelerate and manoeuve rapidly, but are more difficult to control accurately.

Some designers have added homing missiles to their ammunition in an attempt to ensure that hits are registered on the puck in the correct direction, but the value of these is debatable. They have unpredicatable effects at times, especially in close situations.

Championships have been won with all ten classes and despite their widely different play characteristics the craft do seem pretty well equally matched. It is a matter of personal choice in which to compete.

Tournament Play
Our simulation allows you to play through the yearly Tournament, against the League computer pilots, or to play head-to-head in a two-player option.

In the Tournament there are five rounds to get through, all against different pilots who get better as you progress. You may also select one of three levels of skill. As you are deemed to be the challenger, you may choose which ship class will be used. Your opponent will get the same type. Keep winning and you will progress through to the final, with the chance of being awarded the Masters rating.

It is advisable to practise on the easier levels, before taking on the League Aces on level 3, however, since it can be very demoralising to get killed off 9 - 0 in your first game!

Using the simulation
Once on the menu screen, press 1-6 to stop the fireworks display.

All ship types have a standard rate of spin and fire. Note that due to power limitations, continous fire is not possible. The batteries take a moment or two to recharge between bursts. Aim carefully. At the top right of the screen is the matrix scanner that shows the position of the two players and the puck on the field, relative to the boundaries of the pitch ( it is possible to confuse an opponent by playing close to the edge. Why? Try it and see! )

In Tournament play, the main screen keys off your ship and displays the area around it. In two player the action is centered on the puck. Either way the scanner is a vital part of the gameplay. Use it or lose!

Below this is shown the score panel with direction indicators for both ships and a bar graph display showing x and y velocities relative to the edges of the playing area. Handy for judging curve moves around the field.

You will be automatically moved on from round to round in the Tournament, if you win, or given the League Computer's opinion of your play if you lose. Each match lasts five minutes, remember, and the last ten seconds are counted down for you.

Quickstart Instructions:
1) Choose control options and one/two player from menu. Press SPACE
2) Select level of play
3) Select ship
4) Start shooting! Line Goal = 1pt Goal = 2pt
5) Score over 9 to win, or be in front after 5 minutes