Cyberball (Domark) Review | Computer & Video Games - Everygamegoing


By Domark
Spectrum 128K

Published in Computer & Video Games #101


In the 21st century, American Football is played by giant 20 foot high armoured robots - one or two humans control the entire team from positions of safety high above the goal line.

The object of the game is easy - you've got to get the ball over your opponent's goal line to score points. The trouble is that the ball is explosive, and as soon as it's in your possession its internal fuse begins to burn. You have four attempts to move the ball ten yards upfield to the defuse line - make it and the fuse is reset for another four turns. Fail and the ball explodes, the opponent takes possession of a new ball and starts to make his way back upfield towards your goal-line.

During offensive play, you control the quarterback robot at all times, unless you choose to throw the ball to a receiver robot, whereupon control is passed over as soon as the ball leaves the quarterback's metal mitts. All the other robots follow pre-programmed movements which you select before each down - the list is enormous, and each is accompanied by a picture which details all robot activity.


When you're playing on the defensive you can control any one of the robots - all you've got to do is stop the opponent from reaching the defuse line in four goes to regain possession. Again, there are many defensive moves accessible at the start of each play.


Domark's conversion of this superb Tengen coin-op is nearly a brilliant one. I say nearly, because while it features amazing graphics, all the sampled sound and speech of the coin-op (there's loads) and gameplay that mimics the arcade machine perfectly, there's one problem - it plays very slowly.

Compared with the arcade machine there's a considerable drop in speed, and consequently play can become frustrating if you're used to whizzing around the field at high speed. If it has just been a little faster, Cyberball would undoubtedly have been a C&VG Hit!

As it stands, it's an extremely polished and enjoyable game that offers plenty of single or multi-player thrills and spills at a pace that fans of the arcade machine might find just a little too sedate. It's definitely a case of trying before buying.


Faster than the Amiga version, and contains many elements of the arcade machine and surprisingly faithful graphics. Cyberball fans should look out for this one.

Julian Rignall

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