Copyright/Publisher: Mirrorsoft, Produced by: Image Works,
Bitmap Brothers & Pantheon Software, Music By: David Whittaker,
Release Year: 1989, Genre: Weird Sports, Number Of Players: 1 or 2
Nowt like it, is there? A nice bit of sport in the summer. Brush away the cold, winter cobwebs,
rub the linseed oil into the more creaky bits of your personage, and get yourself out on a field.
Ah, but spare a thought for our future generations. Trussed up like battery hens in cramped little
domes, struggling to make a living - struggling, indeed, to survive. What fun do they get when
the central heating's turned up and the blue light is shone onto the ceiling? Quite a bit, as
One of their favourite pastimes in the warmer months is the annual SPEEDBALL league. A
mixture of the best parts of football and rugby (two outdated Twentieth Century sports),
the rules are dead simple.
Played either against the central computer system or on a one-to-one basis, each player controls
a team of five robots, one of them guarding the goal. The object is plain: using any means at your
disposal, disgorge a small, metallic Speedball into the opposition's net.
The opposing team, meanhile, is attempting to stop you, again, by any way possible, be it by
deflecting the ball, interception or just downright violence. There's no such thing as a
referee in this sport, so it's basically anything goes, no-holds-barred action. Phwoar!
The computer keeps the game time, stopping the match at the end of the allotted span.
Should any injuries, stoppages, etc result from the game, an amount of extra time is played.
During the match, a number of different icons appear on the pitch, designed to aid the team
quickest to retrieve them. Bonuses include freezing the opponent's players, reversing the
joystick and generally making play extremely difficult for the disadvantaged adversary.
And that's Speedball. It may sound crude, uncouth and physically impossible, but that's beacuse
it is. Why do you think that the players are beheind control panels while a bunch of tin cans
run around and get smashed to bits? For all these blokes almost wiped out mankind - they're not
daft enough to get hurt themselves!!!
D - Decrease opponent's stamina
S - Increase your stamina
F - Freeze opponent (10 second timer)
M - Eight directional mine
E - Single directional mine
P - Protect against tackle
G - Get ball automatically
J - Reverses joystick direction (10 second timer)
? - Slow down opponents
BRIBES AND PURCHASES||
2 Bribe official
3 Increases stamina
3 Bribe Timer
4 Bribe Trainer
4 Extra skill
4 Reduce opponent's stamina
6 Extra Power
6 Reduce skill
6 Bribe Ref
7 Reduce power
What with all the Amiga Sizzlers this month, it's about time we got hold of something worthwhile
on the 64. And how! In my (less than) humble opinion, Speedball has to rank as one of the most
impressive 16 to 8 bit conversions I have laid the old sight-sensory organs on so far.
Almost everything in this game is true to its larget counterpart, although obviously scaled down
to a degree in the presentation department. So instead if superfluous fancy graphics and
amazingly elaborate but totally irrelevant effect at the expense of gameplay, what we have in
Speedball is a piece of software that looks good, sounds great and is an absolute scorcher in
the addiction department.
The gameplay is fast and furious, and while being difficult enough against the computer, it's even
harder when you play someone who's really practised for a bit. Speedball is great and that's
my final word.
Speedball on the C64? 'That'll be about as rubbish as Maff', I thought. I thought wrong
(apart from the Maff bit). Pantheon Software, who undertook the conversion, have come up
smelling of roses, producing an admirable piece of programming, simulating all that is super on
the Amiga game.
Smooth scrolling floors, marvellous (not to mention extremely fit) sprites,
exemplary reproductions of the 16-bit ditties and effects, and, most importantly, that
outstandingly pacey gameplay. Nothing has been lost in the transition from 512 to 64k, it's
Even all of the help icons have been retained! The format is very similar to all of
those birds-eye view footy games that we've seen and slated recently, but Speedball is a
classic, and deserves to sell loads and loads, cos it's really good.
Yeah! Speedball on the Amiga was brill and fab and triff and stuff like that, and
surprisingly it's brill and fab and triff on the C64 as well! Honest! Everything about
it is first class, from the superlative scrolling pitches and subtle use of colour, to the
dynamic tunes and effects.
I'm suprised how close the two versions are, in fact. Because apart from the graphics and
sound the game is exactly the same! Ok, well perhaps nout quite, but near enough to keep me
sitting there chucking balls into other people's goals.
I do have one moan to make, and that's that when more than one of your robots is on screen at
any one time and the ball is in the air, the computer can't make its mind up over who to give
control to. But that is the only derogatory thing that I can say about an otherwise, er,
brill fab and triff chuckaround.