SPEEDBALL
Info
Released: 1988 Published by: Imageworks

Platforms: Amiga, Atari ST, PC, Commodore 64, NES (Klashball), Sega Master System

Credits: The Bitmap Brothers, Mark Coleman (Graphics), Dave Whittaker (Sound & Music), David Rowe (Box Artwork)

Description: The original future sports game.


Images






Review
With the acclaimed Xenon released less than a year before, expectations were high to see if the Bitmap Brothers could equal their previous games high standards. The answer was a definite yes.

The Bitmap Brothers second project originally started out as a tennis game called Real Tennis. Luckily for Speedball fans the Bitmaps publishers at the time (Mastertronic) had a change of heart and decided to pull the plug. The Bitmaps then got to work on Speedball and it was snapped up by Imageworks.
The story of Speedball is a about a corrupt future world where sport has evolved into a brutal full contact competition between teams of mean heavily armoured players.

The game itself takes place inside a steel arena with two teams of five players each. The object is simple, get the steel speedball past the opposing goalkeeper and into their goal. This is achieved by either throwing the speedball up the pitch to your players, or by running with it and barging your opponent out of your way with extreme force. There are various powerups to be collected during the match and these can be used in different ways when the end of match siren sounds. Theres even an option to bribe the officials! A two player option is also included which is where this game really shines.

Visually, Speedball has it all. A polished metallic arena which scrolls vertically very smoothly, and super smooth player animation. The title and options screens are all very well presented in the same steel look as the pitch, and an impatient players steel gloved hand bangs against his leg while he waits for you to start the game, a nice touch.
Both the sound and music are also very good including a nice fast paced intro tune that complements the game well and nice use of sound effects during the game.

Overall Speedball is a very polished game that although showing its age, still plays extremely well and is deceptively difficult. This isnt a game that will be mastered quickly, but perseverance rewards an incredibly addictive future sports game that actually works well, a rare thing in itself.

Visitor Comments: last 3 out of 8 - Show all

posted on 28 Jan 2007, 16:25 by Will Ed SMith
Search on Google for Steem if you need an ST emulator - yes Speedball is great and i always preferred it to Speedball 2!

Thanks for the info on the powerups - could you please tell me though, what each of the letters do when you pick them up in the arena? Thankyou,

Will

posted on 09 Feb 2005, 00:44 by Deatkstorm
Great manual

Thanks a lot

posted on 03 Feb 2005, 22:31 by Darkstorm
After playing a bit this game doesn't seem so hard anymore, anyway I can't understand what are all those "bribes" can you explain me please?

Your web-site is still the BEST !!!

Thank you

03 Feb 2005, 23:40

kametyken: The manual page is almost finished and will be available this weekend. Sorry for the delay, but I'm sure you'll like it. Thanks!