Acorn User1st October 1989
Published in Acorn User #087
I was a bit sceptical about this game when I first heard of it. The 16-bit versions are pretty complicated and let's face it, the Beeb isn't 16-bit.
Ballistix is a futuristic ball game. The stadium covers three vertically stacked screens and the two players, depicted by a couple of arrows, must fight to aim the 'game ball' at one of the two goals by bombarding it with smaller balls fired from the player's gun.
Three goals are needed to succeed a level and a password system allows players to skip a level once they've completed it.
In one-player mode the computer is a wary opponent and will usually refrain from firing first. In other words its play is useless. However, the screens are heavily biased in its favour.
The stadium is littered with gizmos. The most common are red arrows which speed up the ball but magnets, suction tunnels, oil slicks and even black holes can be found.
Sometimes letters will appear on the tiled-floor and if you shoot the right ones the word 'RICOCHET' can be built up for a bonus. But it's only really fun with someone else. The computer player doesn't even realise they exist!
The ball doesn't exactly obey the laws of physics but the action is both fast and smooth and the graphics are certainly adequate - colourful at least.
There are thirty screens for each player-mode which become progressively harder. The one-player mode is easy in some places and harder in others, and can become very frustrating sometimes.
Despite one or two annoying bugs, I enjoyed playing Ballistix, and that's the main thing.