The Micro User

Ice Hockey
By Bug Byte

Published in The Micro User 5.04

Fancy skimming over theiceand flicking the puck into the opponent's net? That's what is on offer in this team game simulation for one or two players from Bug-Byte.

The rules are all well explained on the cassette inlay and the keys you use are displayed on-screen at the start of the game. In fact, it's a well-packaged budget-priced offering which claims to be Master 128 compatible.

You start with a face-off in the centre and you can see the central third of the rink. If the puck moves to either end the appropriate third of the pitch is drawn. This is fast and does not interfere with the smoothness ofthe game. There is a permanent on-screen display of the score and the amount of time played.

Ice Hockey

Like similar teamgame simulations, you control just one of the players on the screen, the rest being computer controlled. A nice touch is that the player you are controlling is highlighted by a different coloured shirt.

Ice Hockey lends itself to being a computer game. It is only six-a-side and has strict rules about player positions, so the number of characters moving on the screen is limited and should make for a fast game. Also, a small puck is used rather than a large ball, which should help with the speed of drawing.

The playing rules are simple, too. There are no throw-ons to cope with as the ball bounces off side walls, and in this well-behaved version there are neither fouls nor sin bins.

Ice Hockey

The advantages that ice hockey has over football for a computer simulation are well illustrated by this game. The action is fast and smooth with the players really seeming to glide over the ice.

It's easy to give the puck a resounding thwack and see it shoot to the other end of the rink, but deft touches are possible as well.

There is a pleasing tune which can be turned off, but it's a pity that it switches itself back on after every goal. The simple sound effects are well executed and not intrusive, though they can't be turned off.

The graphics are simple and a little chunky but once the game starts you've no time to worry about that. As you would probably expect, it is not easy to beat the computer team, but it is possible.

This is a well-produced and fun game which represents good value for money with its low price tag.

Rog Frost

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