The first real boxing game for the BBC (Superior has one tentatively scheduled for autumn/winter) and programmer Stephen Ruddy has come up with a cracker!
In the usual manner of these physical contact games, you must meet a succession of eight challengers, either playing a friend or the computer. The graphics are satisfyingly large, the animation and movement of the figures is excellent (for such large figures) and the game even has humour in it - although a bit forced in some of the boxer names.
An initial example title screen leads to a choice between the game or an editor (of which, more later) and then a tedious but vital introduction to yourself and your opponent - vital because it contains information about strengths and weaknesses. Then the bell rings, it's Round One and the fight is on!
The computer is a vicious opponent, jabbing away without a rest and the keys take some time to master (joystick play is much easier). Probably like me, you'll take a couple of fights standing still and just watching the large figures moving smoothly!
Annoyingly when you lose you must go through the entire information sequence again as you only, of course, have one life in boxing - this is The Big K.O.! If you do win though, you're given a password allowing automatic access to the higher levels - who'll be the first reader to send in a complete set? As I mentioned above, the game does have an editor which will allow you to define existing characters or create new boxers which you can then load into the game as normal opponents. Very simple to use and extremely friendly, this is a feature I would welcome on many games.
All in all, this looks like another winner from Tynesoft, even better than their usual high quality. I foresee a lot of software houses wishing they'd chosen to develop a boxing game - although it doesn't have the exotic appeal of kung fu, it does make a very playable game. A good start to 1987 from the consistently interesting and unexpected Tynesoft.