Hotshot
Copyright/Publisher: Addictive Games, Created By: Maxwell Technology,
Release Year: 1988, Genre: Weird Sports, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

In an arena of the distant future robots, humanoids and space creatures battle ofr supremacy. The aim of every competitor is to become the Hotshot of the tournament.

You are allocated control of one of three available characters: an armour-clad human with an airblaster, a bug-eyed alien with an elephantine trunk and a hopping biped robot with a built-in gun turret. Five timed stages follow.

Stage one is a dual Breakout game. The player aims at a set of bricks above him while on the other side of the screen, his opponent has another set of blocks to destroy. The ball is caught by directing the gun nozzle to catch the sphere. If you fail, a life is lost and control passes to the other player.

The next stage is directly based on pinball: points are scored by directing the ball on to bumpers. Each player is given his own ball and has to gain as high a score as possible.

Water plays a part in stage three; hitting a red brick will cause water in the adjacent half on the screen to rise a fraction, until you or your opponent are completely submerged. Hitting red bricks will cause the water in your half to lower.

Next comes an open screen with pinball obstacels and a group of blocks awkwardly placed near its base. A huge bonus is given for clearing them all away.

The final stage is a one-on-one battle. You fire the ball at each outer using the vortex of a black hole to steer it in unusual directions.

In between games, a simple pinball bonus screen is played.

M.E.
Combining old video game ideas often gives them a new lease of life - combining Breakout and a progresive shoot'em up to produce Arkanoid, for example. Adding pinball to this combination is no great improvement. In fact, it makes it worse!

The control method would be all right if the ball didn't act as though it had a life of its own and fly off in weird directions. Some of the characters are easier to control than others but you have no say as to the one you control.

All five levels are very similar and will soon bore all but the most fervent players. The blurb suggests that the black hole is some kind of great event but it's even more boring than the other screens! Hotshot is (yet again) 'a game which fails to live up to its potential'. Shame.

P.G.
Hotshot is a strange departure for Addictive, as it's totally different from the recently released and much-hyped Football Manager 2. Their advertising strategy sports a 'Gold Label Award', which is a tad reminiscent of our very own Gold Medal, methinks - just as well for them as Hotshot stands no chance of gaining our ultimate accolde.

A cross between Breakout and Bounces, the graphics are simplistic, ball movement illogical, and sound feeble. A single-player game is just too frustrating to bother with but at least with a human opponent there's a sense of competition and a modicum of pleasure to be had. Ig you're not fussy about value for money, Hotshot is a reasonable playable two-player game.


INTRO SCREEN

PRESENTATION 61%
No character selection and some impossible ball catches.
GRAPHICS 64%
Strange ball movement, simple animation and Spectrum-esque definition.
SOUND 42%
Weak tune and outdated sound effects.
HOOKABILITY 62%
The game in practice is a poorly executed version of a good idea.
LASTABILITY 39%
The pinball arena holds rapidly deteriorating interest.
OVERALL 57%
An imaginative future sport let down by poor programming.


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