The Micro User1st June 1987
Published in The Micro User 5.04
The latest game from Gary Partis, author of such notables as Positron, Psycastria and the vast Dr. Who And The Mines Of Terror is Sphere Of Destiny. The title is perhaps more suited to an adventure, though I assume it derives from the reggae group of the same name.
The idea of the game is simple: Guide a bouncing ball through 60-odd levels of a 3D obstacle course within the allotted time limit. Control is relatively simple - left, right, accelerate, decelerate and jump/bounce.
The action takes place on a five-lane roadway made up of a number of multi-coloured tiles, each of which has a different function.
White squares give bonus points, purple ones make you ounce. Green tiles increase your speed but red bring you to a virtual standstill. Beware the cyan tiles - right becomes left, accelerating slows you down and you're soon totally lost.
Owners of the Spectrum, Atari or Amstrad CPC will notice many similarities with Trailblazer from Gremlin Graphics. Sphere Of Destiny is a perfect example of the way delicate little refinements can give a game that subtle feel of something really special.
From the rolling demo and musical accompaniment to the clicking on and off of the keyboard LED as an invitation to enter your name in the high score table, Sphere bombards you with special effects
I found Sphere, like Gary's other recent games, much too difficult. This is a great pity as he's remarkably good at finding that elusive addictive quality. I still regularly go back to Psycastria, but I have rarely completed the first stage. Perhaps Gary should release his games before he's had a chance to get too good at them - it might give us mere mortals a chance.
I found it particularly ironic that the highly amusing scrolling text featured a message of thanks to someone who had helped make the game "more playable". I only made it to level three a couple of times in a few hundred attempts.
Sphere Of Destiny is driving me nuts, but I'm sure it'll still be driving me nuts in a year's time.