Personal Computer News16th March 1985
Published in Personal Computer News #103
Sports simulations are now an established part of games software. Anirog's Slapshot is the latest - and very good it is too.
Playing against one player only, you can take the part of any of the six international teams that competed in the 1984 Canada Cup Series.
The game is quite like International Soccer, i.e. you control whichever player of your team is nearest the puck. The player's movements are a delight to watch.
Players may move left/right and up/down and diagonal movement is also possible. Bodychecks dump the tackled player onto the ice and down he/she goes, complete with stars circling round their head. When a player scores, a cheer comes from the crowd.
The aim is to score as often as possible in the three time periods. At the end of each period, the teams switch ends. Puck control has been given as much attention as player movement; to shoot you hold down fire, longer for a harder shot.
Rapid pressing gives some tricky 'stick handling', useful for confusing a potential tackler. You can play rough, but repeated tackling of the same player, or tackling a player not in possession of the puck may result in a roughing penalty against you. In this case there's a face-off in your end.
The screen display is a bit simple - but there's not a lot you can do with a sheet of ice and a stand of spectators. Sound is limited but good - at kickoff a voice shouts 'Charge' and a goal gets 'He scored!'. The tenor of the voice is very similar to that used in Ghostbusters - does the 64 have its own vocal characteristics?
With a pause mode, three speeds of play and the immense detail this one should score highly. My only gripe is that you can't play against the computer.