Break out the bats again, here comes Stopball - a two-screen bat and ball game loosely based on the Breakout theme.
The first screen is empty except for a bat and a bouncing ball. Using the bat, the player has to keep the ball in the air. If it hits the ground you score nowt, but if the ball is kept off the deck successfully, a large score is quickly accumulated. A single block can be dropped anywhere in the playing area and this deflects the ball if you aren't quick enough. Although you cannot die on this screen, a timer slowly ticks down to zero, and when this occurs you move onto the second section...
Which consists of eight blocks, one in each corner of the screen, with the other four set in the shape of a cross in the centre. The idea is to visit each of the eight blocks, whilst avoiding the vicious-bouncing balls which roam the screen. In this instance, if you're hit you're dead and as you only have one life, that means end of the game.If this is successfully negotiated, it's back to the first screen again, only this time the game is tougher to bat, er sorry, beat.
And in fact, being beaten over the head would be a relief, because 'boring' is the only word I can use to describe Stopball two screens each as snooze-inducing as the other. I wouldn't mind quite so much about the lack of screens if they contained a bit more challenge, but whacking a ball around the screen with a bat won't strain anyone's intellectual capacity (though I'm damn sure it will try their patience). I for one did not get very far into the game but this is a fact that won't bug me too much.
MARK … 18%
THE ESSENTIALS Joysticks: Kempton Sound: pardon?
'Crikey, the writer of the inlay was really scraping the barrel in describing this as 'two mega screens of skill, speed and coordination' . Truth-drug to say, the description would probably have been: 'just two screens of boring drivel with minimal playability '. The first is ridiculously simple, the second simply boring. With graphics of similar quality, Stopball offers virtually no playability and zero addictiveness.'