Ballblazer (Activision/Lucasfilm) Review | Computer Gamer - Everygamegoing

Computer Gamer

By Activision
Atari 800XL

Published in Computer Gamer #7


The year is 3097. You are strapped into your high speed Rotofoil as the first plasmorb, or ball, is fired.

You race your opponent to the ball and trap it in your force field. You then charge down the curved field towards your opponent's goal. Now over the horizon, the goal is visible... you fire a shot which scores two points.

Another ball is fired as the game continues.

This time he's right on your heels so you can't afford a rebound so you walk this one into the goal for one point.

The next two balls go badly as he scores a couple of two pointers taking the lead with only seconds left on the clock.

You trap the next ball and with only three seconds to go you fire a last desperate "over the horizon" shot and manage to score a three pointer in an unseen goal, winning the game and becoming the reigning ballblazer champion.

Your next competitor could be another human or one of the nine rated droids who will literally give you a run for your money.

The action is fast and the graphics slick in this simulation of the sport of the future. The screen display is split with each player seeing his view ahead down the curved pitch. At either end is a goal which moves across the pitch adding another problem to an already frantic game.

To give you a fighting chance, the computer always points your Rotofoil towards your opponent's goal when you have the ball and towards the ball when you haven't. This stops you wandering down the wrong end of the pitch and keeps the action at fever pitch.

The game is fought over a set time limit (between 1 and 9 minutes) or ends if one player scores ten points. If there's a tie at the end of time then your into overtime. After all, there can be only one Ballblazer champion.

Ballblazer is the second Lucasfilm game licensed by Activision (the first being Fractalus) and, in my opinion, is the best yet.

At the time of writing work is progressing well on the Spectrum conversion which should be released shortly. Until then find a friend with an Atari and start practising now.