Water Polo
Copyright/Publisher: Gremlin Graphics, Graphics By: Janos Zana, Sound By:
Miklos Herendi, Programmed By: Gabor Pongyor & Antal Zolnai,
Release Year: 1987 Genre: Watersports, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

Water Polo used to be be a game for the athletic, but now Gremlin Graphics' latest gives armchair sportspeople the chance to partake in this aquatic activity without getting their feet wet.

The menu displayed before play commences gives four options: demo, one player, two player and championship match. Choosing one leads directly into the game.

A match is played in four quarters, each of five minutes duration. The team who gains first possession of the ball has 35 seconds to attempt a goal. If they don's score, the opposition automatically get the ball.

The pool takes up most of the screen, with the teams playing left to right. The enthusiastic crowd is positioned along the top of the play area behind the ref, and it is their cheers and his whistle which predominantly accompany the aquatic goings on.

The player takes control of whichever member of the team is nearest the ball, with movement possible in all eight joystick directions. Should the controlled player have the ball, pressing fire raises and swings his arm, allowing a shot or pass to be attempted.

The power of the shot is controlled by positioning the joystick - a central stick produces a normal throw and left and right increse and decrease the power. Spin is achieved by pushing up or down, with the amount defined by the length of time the player holds this position.

When the direction and power have been decided, releasing the fire button throws the ball. When a goal is scored an 'action replay' is displayed to gloat or cringe over.

Although there are many, many sports games on the market, this is the first time I've ever seen a simulation of water polo. In truth it's very much like a 'head and shoulders' version of football, but it's smart and lots of fun (if a little tricky) especially in two-player mode.

Water Polo has some nice graphics and effects - title screen - drool, drool! - but the cheering crowd is rather poor (I was hoping they would break into the 'wave' when a player scored!)

My favourite feature is the action replay that appears after a goal, which is a really nice feature - especially if you've just scored a blinder! If you're after an enjoyable and original sports simulation, try this.

Julian Rignall
Although I cursed and mumbled when trying to master the awkward control method, deep down I was thoroughly enjoying myself. Water Polo requires more than its fair share of perseverence, but if you enjot the action you won't mind spending time and patience on it.

Two player mode is where the game comes into its own, but those who lack a partner are still well catered for with ten levels of computer opposition. If you're after a playable sports simulation which has the same sort of lasting appeal as International Soccer, take a look - it's well worth it.


One or two player option and ten levels of opposition.
Great title screen and effective in-game graphics.
Atmospheric, but limited spot effects.
The tricky control method is offputting, but practice makes perfect.
Ten computer teams and the two player option give plenty of scope for long-term play.
A tough and challenging, but ultimately enjoyable sports simulation.