World Series Basketball
By Imagine
Spectrum 48K

Published in Crash #23

World Series Basketball

When you load the game you are presented with plenty of options. You can select six levels of play against the computer or play against another human player. If the action is all too intimidating at first, there's always the practice mode if you're new to the game. This allows you to try scoring goals solo against three players and gives you the chance to practice ball control and dribbling skills. You start off in your own half and have to dribble your way up to the basket, evade the opposition, and plonk it in. You can also change the colours of the team and ground useful if you've only got a black and white telly.

Once you've set all the options and want to play press the start button! The teams run out of the changing rooms and take their positions for the tip-off. A peep of the ref's whistle sounds and the game starts with the ball being thrown into the air between two players from opposing teams. You have to jump up into the air and knock it down to one of your team-mates before your opponent does in order to gain possession.

As the ball travels around the pitch the playing area scrolls from left to right. In all the play ing area is between two and three screens long and is viewed panoramically like Match Day. Indeed, World Series Baseball works very much in the same game Match Day, and those who have played the football game won't have any difficulty with getting into basketball. Playing a whole computer basketball team is fairly straightforward the nearest player to the ball is chosen by the computer and put under your control. You'll know which player it is because his shirt will mysteriously change colour. If you pass the ball the the player receiving is automatically selected for you to control.

World Series Basketball

The general aim of the game is to retain possession of the ball as much as possible and to take as many shots as you can at your opponent's basket. A scoreboard keeps track of the game and tells you the time remaining and, of course, the score. It also acts as a message board when a team scores 'GOAL' scrolls across it.

A game is divided into two halves, each half being three minutes long.


First it was baseball, a relatively unheard of game over here which Imagine made into a big hit. I hope they have similar success with basketball, as it's a great game. As a rule I'm not a sport simulation person, but I've been playing this one for hours and I can't see myself putting it down until I get a decent score. The only niggle I have with this game is that it's hard to tell which of your four players you are controlling -and you can only change the player you control when you are in possession. Generally, though, I thought the game was exceptionally playable and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys sports simulations.

The only other Basketball game presently on the Spectrum is One on One and that wasn't too hot. Luckily, if you like this type of game, World Series Basketball is very good. The graphics allow you to change the colours of the teams and reminded me of Matchday. The game follows the rules of basketball, but they aren't too tough - you should be able to get into the game easily. Overall this is a good simulation, well presented (although it does crash now and again), but only worth getting if you know you like games of this sort.

What a funny game this is: only four players per side and no referees. I was really looking forward to this after the brilliant World Series Baseball, but I suppose it couldn't be matched. The options page isn't as good as the other Imagine 84 games and the sound is a real let down, but the graphics make up for some of this. I'm not sure that all basketball fans will go for WSB (I didn't to begin with). There's quite a few niggly shortcomings with it which might annoy basketball fans. My advice would be to hang on for a while until Elite release their basketball game and compare the two rather than rushing out and buying this one now.


Control keys: Definable.
Keyboard play: confusing with two players
Use of colour: bland
Graphics : no shortage of attribute problems
Sound: Peep!
Skill levels: Six
Screens: N/A
General Rating: Bound to impress simulation fans.