It's strange how the only people you ever see playing squash are either fat businessmen who are
trying to impress their clients or bronzed muscle-men who look as of they've spent all night
in the gym. You never see the inbetweenies, the sill-got-a-pot-belly-but-not-quite-out-of-breath
people. There have to be squash players who exist in a transitional stage between wobbly fat
and rippling muscles. But where are they? It's one of life's great mysteries.
The characters in World Championship Squash are a real hotch potch, it has to be admitted. I
don't know about you but I never heard of Elvis doing anything more energetic than a bit if
hip gyrating. But here the King is, in the flesh, playing squash against the likes of Barry and
Lionel (not Blair! Please don't let it be Lionel Blair! - Ed). There's someone called Jason
in there too, looking very blond and maybe a little Australian?
You can play squash against all these players and more if you choose to play a tournament.
Or you could just take pot luck and play a single game against any one of the eight opponents.
A game can last for one, three or five minutes - you decide.
You watch the action from where the viewing gallery would be on a real squash court (unlike in
Jahangir Khan's Squash where the viewpoint is from the bottom right). Unfortunately, this makes
it virtually impossible to judge where the ball is vertically - it looks like it's travelling
around the court in two dimensions only, and the shadow it casts is no help. Even worse, if your
opponent i standing in the way, then that obscures the ball completely.
There are five ways to hit the ball. Press Fire for a standard hit; Fire and Up makes your
player do a high smash; Fire and Down makes him reach for the dirt. You can also put spin on the
ball by tugging your joystick Left and Right while pressing Fire.
As in many Zeppelin games there are loads of options. With WCS there is a particular useless
one: Attend Competition. Choose this and if you play a tournament you get to sit through all
the other games you don't even play in. It's so soporific it should be certified as a strong
sedative and only be available through your GP.
But watching a game is only slightly less dull than playing one. Sure, it follows the rules
of game, but the fun in real squash comes from watching your opponent limp away when a carefully
placed ball makes him pile headlong into the wall. With WCS you haven't got precise enough ball
control to do things like that, or anything elase remotely creative. About the best you can
hope to do is return the ball legally.
Two-player mode can be fun if you've got a sense of humour and a mate who's worse than you
are. At least it introduces an element of unpredictability. But if you really have to have a
squash sim this isn't the one to get. Unless, of course, you have trouble sleeping.