Copyright/Publisher: UBI Soft, Programmed By: Tim McCarthy, Graphics By: Bruno Kortulewski,
Music By: Holger Knipping & Adam Bulkaz, Release Year: 1990, Genre: Number Of Players: 1-2
Picture two huge guys racing across an ice rink, knocking each other over as they
try to knock a into the other's net and you have Skateball - a more violent,
futuristic version of ice hockey.
Play against a human or computer opponent, selecting three players for your
team (each has different characteristics). Apart from the goalie, onle one player
at a time plays for each team.
The others are needed for when he gets 'bumped off' by falling down a hole
or smashing into a spiky ball or any of the other numerous death traps.
The ice rink scrolls horizontally, and a radar scanner shows the whole rink
and the positions of the players. When a team has scored five goals it's onto
the next of 99 progressively more dangerous levels. Lose all three men and the
game's over, five bonus goals going to your opponent.
The simple go-for-goal action in Skateball is initially appealing but
ultimately over-simple. Two-player games are most fun but tend to end very
quickly as it's too easy for the players to die.
With one-player games, the main incentive to play on being to see the later
levels which are littered with torturous traps.
I remember playing this on the Spectrum (aaargh!) ages agon so it was quite
a surprise that the 64 version has taken so long to appear. Unfortunately it
hasn't really been worth the wait.
Although retaining a little of the Speccy game's simple playability, it is
ruined by some pretty basic graphics: simply animted sprites, bland backgrounds
and a far-too-small radar scanner.