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Released: 1987

Genre: Sports

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Mastertronic

Developer: Binary Design Ltd

Submitted by: Stephen Westwood

This was a £2.99 budget title, yet it was an arcade conversion. Something a bit unusual, but what was even stranger, is that it was… it IS fantastic!

I’ve put it in the ‘sports’ catergory… it’s hard to clasify other than to say it’s an ‘arcade’ game, but I guess it’s like a futuristic sport.  You’re a little robot/machine/vehicle… not sure what really and you have to knock other… things?? off the edge of the playing field into oblivion.  It sounds simple, and the concept, is, but that’s its charm, the actual gameplay, however, is a lot more involved.  You have to be really skilled in dodging and taking your opportunities to knock the little fellas off before they bump you off.. you bounce off them so you need to use real manouvering skills.  Also, to help and to add to strategy, you can pick up power parts and jump parts.  At the beginning of each one screen level you can check out your opponents and make a decision how many of those extras you are going to need, reserving them, also, for later challenges.

It’s just a real cool idea and great fun to play.  Easy to pick up, hard to master, like all the greats.  I’d never played or seen the arcade version so this was more than fine.  The screens are colourful, it has arcadey 128k music throughout, even during play, and the difficulty is just right.  I MAMEd the arcade version recently, in fact I was dying to give it a go, but I was surprised to find I prefered the Speccy version.  In the arcade you don’t get enough lives and there’s no continues.  I also feel you bounce too hard off the opponents so it’s a bit too difficult.  Obviously playing the Spectrum game first may have made me bias, but I’m gunna stick to playing that version.  It is, however, on reflection, a cracking conversion.