ZX Spectrum Games

ZX Spectrum Games

10 Jan 2013

Spectrum Games - Hypaball - Classic ZX Spectrum Game

Hypaball ZX Spectrum
This was the second computer game for the good old Speccy by Bernie Dugggs, aka Doug Burns.

His first (Ping Pong) was an excellent conversion of the Konami table tennis game which goes down in history as one of the great arcade conversions for our beloved 8-bit machine.

This classic game was released by Odin in 1986 and is one of the few Spectrum Games where distribution is still denied all of these years later.

Like any good game from the 1980s it had a back story and synopsis to set the scene. Game on...

The minimalist loading screen works well
The inlay instructions proudly tell us:
'Beyond field sport, deep into the future of mankind, lies the greatest team game in the known Universe - Hypaball.'

You begin the game picking your players for your team which are called 'The Hawks". Each player has a different name and attributes such as speed, strength and so on; so the selection does make a small difference to the actual gameplay.

Once you have made your selections (it's a bit like picking teams in 5-a-side!) it is onto the game proper to do battle with the no doubt evil Vipers and try to win the Odin Super Cup.

The game takes place in the ultra-cool sounding 'Hypa-Dome', played against the clock, with each team trying to outscore the other.

The 'goal' is basically a moving box on a central column which is constantly shifting upwards and downards on it's vertical axis. 

I'm hypa just thinking about it!
Hitting it is by no means easy and the ball bounces around the arena pretty quickly, moving from one side of the screen to another (in a wrap-around styleeee) and of course bouncing off the walls and 'ceiling' of this hypa-arena, the hypa-most of hypadomes.

The winners of the game are (unsurprisingly) the team with the highest score at the end of the match.

The game itself is quite fun due to the nicely implemented ball physics and once you get the hang of it you can pre-empt where the ball is going to appear.

As I said scoring points is a difficult task, but with a bit of practice you can judge your throws quite well and it is possible to score from different angles and areas of the screen.

On Release:
This is a game that met with a pretty lukewarm reception when it was released back in the day. Crash magazine were pretty harsh when they reviewed it - a little unfairly in my opinion. Still, it is fair to say that this game was not up to the high standards set by the mighty Ping Pong, and at £9.99 it was overpriced.

The Test Of Time:
This is a classic game that is okay for a quick play and a bit of perseverance pays off. There are some nice ideas in here and if it had some extra features such as different ways to accumulate points, powerups, player boosts and so on it would have really been something special. Two player mode can be quite fun too, I got more out of it playing against Brian than I did against the Speccy. It could also be considered a cultural predecessor to the mighty Speedball and even mightier Speedball II.

We recommend getting hold of the real hardware - and this game is not available for download online.

GENRE: Arcade Game
DEVELOPER(S): Doug Burns
PRICE: £9.99

Classic Arcade Action:

Classic Games, Arcade Games and ZX Spectrum Games


Doug Burns said...

This classic game was released by Odin in 1986 and is one of the few Spectrum Games where distribution is still denied all of these years later.

Yeah, what was the guy's name again? Oh, yeah .. Paul McKenna. Great guy

I think I understand most of Crash's negative review, although at the time it seemed a *little* harsh.

Negative points

- I recall that on the real hardware it was a little slow for a game when not very much was going on.

- Not very much was going on ;-) (Although that didn't seem to hurt Ping Pong as much

- It was a bit buggy, leaving goal imprints on the screen from time to time because it was finished in a massive rush after me being hopelessly lazy

- Things had moved on in the Spectrum games world and it just wasn't really up to scratch any more

- You're right - it could have done with some extra features but that's what you get for finishing late :-(

There really are some things that I prefer about Hypaball but it's like a good group's poor album. All the guitars are sort of there, but the songs are just a bit rubbish really and probably far too many drugs involved!

Personally, there are little bits I like about it more than I do Ping Pong but, in retrospect, it was pretty average stuff. I'm not sure 56% for that versus 90% for Ping Pong makes sense though, but maybe that was down to Martin and Joffa's music! LOL

Thanks for putting yourself through the pain of looking at it again!



patsm00re18 said...

Sweet blog! I discovered it although browsing on Yahoo News. free brain games for adults

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