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Boxing

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Released: 1980

Genre: Sports

Format reviewed: Atari 2600

Publisher: Activision

Developer: Bob Whitehead

Submitted by: Alex Holmes

Simple.  Effective.  Genius. 

With boxing, legendary programmer Bob Whitehead pulled out one of the finest sports games to ever feature on the 2600.

The game is a two minute match, with the white and black boxers going head to head.  1 point is scored for a long jab, and a close range heavy punch scores 2 points, and after the two minutes the highest scoring of the two is declared the winner.  Unless, however, one fighter reaches 100 points in which case the fight ends with a knockout.

What first appears as a fairly straight-forward, top down punchout soon reveals itself to show a great deal of depth and playability.  The controls are highly responsive and strategy and timing are key to a achieving a high score or gaining a knouckout.  The key is to force your opponent into the corner or against the ropes and land some high scoring heavy punches before they can work their way out of trouble.  One excellent feature is when both boxers meet and then have to jostle for position, as moving away leaves you open to attack.

With single and two player modes, and also the option of applying a handicap to one fighter to give new players an edge on their opponents, boxing is one of Whitehead's greatest triumphs, especailly with a game thats little over 2KB in size!