Hypaball (Odin) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

By Odin
Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #40


Beyond the fieldsport, deep into the future of mankind lies the greatest team game in the known Universe - Hypaball. Wow, so they'll still be playing pingpong in the 21st Century? Hypaball is pingpong played with joysticks.

This game is difficult to describe for mere 20th Century mortals - but I'll try. Each team (only two can play) gets three players.The grounder futuristically stays on the ground whilst the other two fly around futuristically on their jetpacks. One occupies the left zone and the other one the right. The same goes for the opposing team.

The two zones are divided by a futuristic central pillar which has a futuristic target moving slowly up and down it. The idea is to score points by hitting the target with the hardened steel sphere - a futuristic description for a pingpong blob.

Hypa Ball

The blob, sorry, hardened steel sphere, bounces around emitting futuristic plink-plink sounds. The players nearest the ball falls under joystick control. Your job is to catch the ball and throw it either to a team-mate in a better position or straight at the target. You can't move whilst you're holding the ball and the other side gets a free shout if you haven't got rid of it inside 2.5 seconds.

First team to 25 wins the game and gets to make the headline on the front page of The Echo newspaper that appears on screen, a futuristic idea featured in Hacker and Paperboy.

That lot may sound boring. And it is if you take the one-player option and play the computer. The computer always wins - but this is the future. The advantage is that you can watch the moves made by the computer and try to imitate them when you're playing in two-player mode. This is much more challenging and does prove that some futuristic skills are involved.

Hypaball has some nice but useless touches. You're allowed to pick your team from a choice of ten men, each one graded in terms of strength, accuracy, etc. That's all well and good but whatever team you choose, there's no noticeable difference in play. Best useless touches are the automatic cheerleaders who appear out of holes in the ground, only to slide back before the two teams appear. All this is accompanied by suitably futuristic music, rather like Tomorrow's World.

Odin have done a good job of disguising the severely unfuturistic theme of a ball bouncing around a screen and have a modicum of imagination in dressing the game to look good. The problem is that the game itself just isn't sophisticated enough for prolonged play. Once you've mastered it, you'll give a futuristic sigh and return quickly to the 20th century.

Bohdan Buciak

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