C&VG1st September 1989
Published in Computer & Video Games #94
Basketball isn't the most popular sport on any computer, and there have been very few successful conversions, so what have SportsTime got that the others haven't? For a start, there's a huge range of options. You can name your team, place it in any of the leagues and customised its players in terms of speed, control, outside and inside ability.
There's an option to view both league and team histories and statistics, and you can load in different league styles and ways of viewing the match. However, the alternative viewpoints and styles come on disks that are bought separately.
The action closely follows the rules of basketball, and allows coaching of the team to be carried out by you, another player or the computer. You have the choice of a human or computer opponent and are allowed up to eight time-outs per game (with additional "tv timeouts"). Matches can be set at either 3, 6, 9 or 12 minutes per quarter, and you can even change the colours of the team and court! A superb 58-page manual explains everything.
Most of the screen is taken up by the court: if in end-view mode, the team in possession runs towards the "camera" up to the half way line; after that the perspective changes and it runs away, towards the opponent's basket. The bottom quarter is taken up by a display of the score, time, the player in possession and the "effective power": essentially a reflection of the team's stamina relating to the players' age and time out on court.
Though the players are only very small, the detail and animation are good in both versions; it's a pity the game can't be said for the sound effects, which are limited to a few whistles, ball noises and tunes.
If you ignore the irritations, this is an excellent basketball program. The action is realistic, allows a good deal of control over movement and passing and is addictive enough to keep you trying until you finish the season.
A vast range of options and good graphics are marred by minimal sound effects and a slow loader. Not the easiest simulation to begin with, but it proves very rewarding after a few games.
Only available on disk, and the loader is very slow. It's got all the Amiga's features, options and playability, and should appeal both to dedicated basketball fans and sports sim enthusiasts.