Ten seconds to go. Nine, eight, oh no - you think it's all up to you now. The scores are equal and you've got the ball. You bounce the ball down the court and aim for the basket. The ball leaves your hands. Three, two, you score. The crowd goes wild! It's all the excitement of Championship Basketball.
Basketball is a game of lightning speed for superathletes. It takes guts, stamina and strategy. And Gamestar claims its simulation 'helps you develop the strategies and skills to make you play like a pro.'
In Championship Basketball you can either practice or play a game. Techniques to practice include hook shots, jump shots, slam dunks and rebounds.
Two players can take opposing sides, each paired with a computer teammate; or both can play the computer; or a single player can challenge the Spectrum, aided by an intelligent computer ally.
You can play a straightforward game of basketball, or variants such as 'around the world' and 'horse'. The object in all is to score by shooting the ball into the high basket.
Vital skills include passing and receiving the ball, shooting, stealing and blocking. And strategy is important: when on the court with a computer teammate, you can choose from five offensive and four defensive plays.
Look out for fouls, though... and now put on your trainers, get down to that court and play.
'Yawn! I'm really going off Gamestar. I thought Championship Football (also reviewed this month) was the pits, but this takes the biscuit. The graphics are not very well-drawn and the colour clashes terribly, as usual. Though Championship Basketball is quite playable at first, after a while the bad graphics and beepy sound are a bit much.'
'Every basketball game ever written for the Spectrum has been a waste of time, and Gamestar's recent effort is no better than its predecessors. It suffers from having just two players on each side, which rules out the realistic game moves that could be used with five players. The little men running around the court are well animated, and the shots look good. But these are the only drawing points of a very boring and repetitive game. Championship Basketball leaves out many of the major basketball technicalities, and therefore fails to be a successful simulation.'
'Championship Basketball is the latest in a long line of American sports games, and it could be the last for all I care. Small, wobbling stick men hobble round a crudely-drawn, colour-clashing screen; control is frustratingly slow and fiddly. The gameplay is at first quite enjoyable, but frustration and boredom soon set in. Though this isn't too bad for couple of games, the Harlem Globetrotters it ain't.'