Hyperbowl
Copyright/Publisher: MAD/Mastertronic, Produced By: Binary Design Ltd,
Release Year: 1987, Genre: Weird Sports, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

Dateline: the 37th Century. The sport: Hyperbowl - a two player competition combining all the speed and skill of ice-hockey with the high technology of the future.

Two identical ships face-off across the middle of a large playing area at the start of each contest. The aim is to propel a puck to your opponents goal-line, by repeated fire from the ship's cannon or direct collision with the puck itself. A choice of ten ships is given before play begins - each has its own characteristics of movement and weaponry.

The playing field is multi-directional, and scrolls in manner designed to keep the puck at the centre of the screen - this means that your ship is not necessarily visible at all times. To compensaete, there is a scanner at the top of the screen which shows the position of the two combatants in relation to the puck.

Situated either side of the scanner are representations of both ships showing the direction in which they are facing. Using this information in conjunction with the scanner, the ships are steered to the visible section of the playing field.

A point is scoared when the puck crosses the goal-line, and two points are awarded if the puck enters the goal area situated in the centre of the goal-line.

Either one or two players can participate - the computer taking control of the second ship if the former option is chosen.

Julian Rignall
This is a fairly simple computer implementation of the Crossfire board game with one problem - it doesn't work! There's no variety in the screens and the action quickly becomes tedious and predictable. The graphics and sound are nothing special, and it's only the two-player option that saves it from being chucked into the bin. Still, it is only three quid...
R.E.
Hyperbowl in its simplest form is a computer version of the classic board game, Crossfire. Unfortunelately, the visible pitch area is so small that it's easy to loase your bearings. As a one player game it can become very tedious, as initially it's difficult to get to grips with the controls - but you can soon get the hang of it. As a two player game Hyperbowl proves marginally more enjoyable - and it's only three quid.
S.J.
Following a rather awful loading screen, Hyperbowl presents some pretty decent graphics. The playing field and ships are neatly rendered, and movement on screen is smooth and convincing. Unfortunelately, the gameplay is very simple and my interest waned after only a few goes. The two-player mode may appeal, but overall Hyperbowl remains a good implementation of a fairly tame idea.

INTRO SCREEN

PRESENTATION 81%
A one or two player option, three skill levels, and effective on-screen presentation.
GRAPHICS 69%
Simple, but effective.
SOUND 55%
Bland title tune and adequate spot effects.
HOOKABILITY 63%
Mildly interesting at first, but this quickly fades.
LASTABILITY 41%
The lack of variety is not helped by the tediously simplistic gameplay.
VALUE 63%
Cheap enough to tempt.
OVERALL 54%
An interesting concept that's well executed... and still doesn't hit the mark.


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