Round Ones (Alternative) Review | Electron User - Everygamegoing

Electron User

Round Ones
By Alternative

Published in Electron User 5.12

Once upon a time, just about at the dawn of time as far as computers are concerned, there was a simple, but addictive, little arcade game called Breakout. In it you controlled a bat and had to hit a ball which bounced off various blocks and destroyed them.

The Breakout idea vanished into the wilderness for about five years, but has now reappeared in a number of guises. Alternative's Round Ones - actually called Spheroids on the title screen - is the latest addition and comes in at the budget end of the market.

In this latest version, the bat has become a Block Assault Transporter and the ball is a Block Assault Laser Launch (Gettit?). Many of the blocks are simple and require one hit by the ball to destroy them. Others, coloured yellow, require two or more hits.

Round Ones

Red blocks increase the speed of the ball while black ones release a driblet. Catching these can increase the size of the bat (although it might reduce it at other times) or they may cause the entire screen to explode - I'll leave it for you to discover which driblet does what.

Destroying all of the blocks on one screen will move you to the next. When you have completed eight screens the next set is automatically loaded from the cassette. There are some 100 or so to master in all.

The second and subsequent sets of screens introduce new hazards. Lasers fire at you and multi-coloured conflictors can cause havoc with the ball. Your force field protection will come in very useful, but this is in limited supply and must be used sparingly.

It's a tough game, so the programmers have supplied you with nine badly needed lives. It took me ages to master just the first screen, and I frequently lost the balls one after the other in record time. Fortunately there is an option to alter game speed.

The quality of Alternative's games has certainly improved recently and Round Ones will make a worthy addition to your collection.

I have one major gripe about the game, which features some really clever multi-coloured backgrounds. They look superb, but can act as an almost total camouflage for the fall. I feel the game would have been better with simple plain coloured backgrounds. Oh, and I must mention the awful music, it's painful to listen to.

Rog Frost

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