I, Ball II (Firebird) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

I, Ball II
By Firebird
Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #53

I, Ball II

He bounces back! Hot on the heels of I, Ball comes the repeat showing devastatingly good, just like the original.

This time, you have your little ball bouncing through ancient labyrinths trying to find artefacts showing how the ancestors of the ball race lived. He has been chosen by the ball people's top archaeologists to search deep down in the dark caverns. Armed only with a puny little flame thrower, I, Ball takes the plunge underground to find how the ancients lived...

There are fifty underground mines. The entrance and exit from one cove to the next is locked. At the end of every five mines is a priceless artefact. The first being an ancient skull which resembles a sabre-tooth tiger rather than a ball. The caverns contain stacks of hazards which have to be overcome to reach the key and then the door to the next level. Boulders have to be pushed, removed or toppled, and you might just have to wait until a pile of rocks mysteriously vanishes.

There might be a hidden exit or a useful object hidden underneath or it might start a chain reaction causes a whole load or rocks to come crashing down and make grapefruit juice out of I, Ball. Other hazards to look out for are highly dangerous radioactive blocks which bounce slowly up and down and prove fatal to an under-cautious ball.

Sometimes the control of the ball can be very frustrating, especially when you try to bounce through a small gap.

Power stones are about the only really helpful items in the game. They give you weird powers or cause weirdish things to happen to the mutants. The mutants just happen to be there as you start your exploration. The power stones can either make you faster, bounce higher, or increase your firepower. They can also slow the mutants down or make them totally inoperative. Smart bombs are also part of your rather basic armour, and they too have to be dug out of the rocks.

I have to give full marks to Firebird on this one, it's as crucial as a pixy in a microwave. It has stacks of addictiveness and playability, but differs from I, Ball 1 in that all the action takes place on a single static screen, whereas the first game didn't.

The graphics appear to have been toned down somewhat, and more resemble the Spectrum than a C64 game. The sound is of the same standard as the first game: high quality and lots of it, with the computer blurting out comments whenever you collect an object.

A really great game, and at a price which leaves you change for a penny sweet. So what are you waitin' for? Go geddit!

Mark Patterson

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