Home Computing Weekly

Frank Bruno's Boxing

Author: E.D.
Publisher: Elite
Machine: Commodore 64

Published in Home Computing Weekly #133

Hooray for an attempt to produce a boxing game which breaks away from the mould. Other simulations use a side on view of the ring but this one shows the opponent face on with the back of Mr Bruno in the foreground.

There are eight cartoon opponents, all with silly names, and their attributes are stored in separate files on the reverse side of the cassette.

Control of the boxer is difficult and you have to batten down your joysticks before the game commences. This is because there are two ways in which control can be exercised either with one joystick and the keyboard or with two joysticks. Either way, it is difficult to move unless the controllers are tied down firmly.

Frank Bruno's Boxing

The first opponent is the Canadian Crusher, a mean looking hombre who, if the theme tune is anything to go by, is a lumberjack with effeminate tendencies but none of these show as the Crusher tries to grind down your opposition.

The screen display for each fight shows Bruno in the top left corner and his opponent on the opposite side of the scoreboard. Under this is the ring with a fair sized audience realistically cheering the boxers on. An indication of your boxer's success is given by a line which extends for each blow landed towards a KO symbol. When this line reaches the symbol a few well landed blows will knock the punch-drunk pugilist in front of you.

After three such knockdowns in the round whether . they -be for or against you, the boxer will not rise again.

Victory will display an Elite Video Boxing Association Membership Code which is based on the initials which you have entered. This code is the key to allowing you to load the next boxer into the ring. It's a pity that more thought did not go into the design of the alphnumeric characters which make up this code. I found it difficult to decide whether the next character was a letter '0' or a zero, and 'I' or a figure one, etc.

The range of punches at your disposal is sufficient to keep you tied up in knots throughout each bout. In addition to punching right and left you can duck, dodge right and left, and raise or lower your guard. Changing of the guard determines whether the next punch will be a body blow or one to the head and a controlled variation between the two can open up the gaps necessary to land a scoring punch.

When the KO meter reaches maximum the punching capabilities are increased with the addition of an uppercut which can be the secret to success but if the opponent lands a blow the meter will drop rapidly and the softening up process can start again.

A master 'table is kept of the record times in which the various contenders have been defeated during the current session but it doesn't appear to be possible to save these results to tape to keep a running record of the victories achieved over the course of several sessions.

Whatever your views on the subject of boxing in the real world, this game holds a lot of excitement and underlines the skill in timing required for eventual success. Maybe there's already too much violence on television but perhaps there's a little room left for a game of this quality.


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