Copyright/Publisher: MAD/Mastertronic, Produced By: Binary Design Ltd,
Release Year: 1987, Genre: Weird Sports, Number Of Players: 1 or 2
Dateline: the 37th Century. The sport: Hyperbowl - a two player competition combining all
the speed and skill of ice-hockey with the high technology of the future.
Two identical ships face-off across the middle of a large playing area at the start of each
contest. The aim is to propel a puck to your opponents goal-line, by repeated fire from the
ship's cannon or direct collision with the puck itself. A choice of ten ships is given
before play begins - each has its own characteristics of movement and weaponry.
The playing field is multi-directional, and scrolls in manner designed to keep the puck at the
centre of the screen - this means that your ship is not necessarily visible at all times.
To compensaete, there is a scanner at the top of the screen which shows the position of the
two combatants in relation to the puck.
Situated either side of the scanner are representations of both ships showing the direction
in which they are facing. Using this information in conjunction with the scanner, the ships are
steered to the visible section of the playing field.
A point is scoared when the puck crosses the goal-line, and two points are awarded if the
puck enters the goal area situated in the centre of the goal-line.
Either one or two players can participate - the computer taking control of the second ship
if the former option is chosen.
This is a fairly simple computer implementation of the Crossfire board game with one
problem - it doesn't work! There's no variety in the screens and the action quickly
becomes tedious and predictable. The graphics and sound are nothing special, and it's only
the two-player option that saves it from being chucked into the bin. Still, it is only
Hyperbowl in its simplest form is a computer version of the classic board game, Crossfire.
Unfortunelately, the visible pitch area is so small that it's easy to loase your bearings.
As a one player game it can become very tedious, as initially it's difficult to get to
grips with the controls - but you can soon get the hang of it. As a two player game Hyperbowl
proves marginally more enjoyable - and it's only three quid.
Following a rather awful loading screen, Hyperbowl presents some pretty decent graphics.
The playing field and ships are neatly rendered, and movement on screen is smooth and
convincing. Unfortunelately, the gameplay is very simple and my interest waned after only a
few goes. The two-player mode may appeal, but overall Hyperbowl remains a good implementation
of a fairly tame idea.