Airball


Title		Airball
Game Type	General Action
Company		Prism Leisure
Players		1
Compatibility	A500/A500+
Submission	Chris Burns

Review
"Now you're really in trouble" said the Evil Wizard "I'm turning you into
a ball of air and sending you into my mansion, with over 250 rooms, to
search for the Spell Book that may give you the clues on how to transform
yourself into a human again. With all the traps I've laid, it's not as
easy as it sounds". What a nasty man! He didn't even have the courtesy to
tell us why he was doing it! We must have done something really bad..

Even if the basic plot is a bit blurry, Airball is a fun game, very much
in the 8-bit mould (I don't know for certain but it looks as if it started
life on the C64). The game is isometric and is slightly unusual in that
there are no enemies and hence no weapons of any sort. Your mission is
simply to negotiate the Airball (which kind of destroys any chance of
empathy with the central character :-) through the obstacle strewn mansion
to find the elusive spell book.

The hazardous obstacles are mainly in the form of spikey balls, firepits
and razor sharp floor tiles (which look okay, if different from normal
tiles, but make you burst if you go over them), plus the isometric
viewpoint makes for some very dodgy moments when jumping gaps or
especially at those moments where you have to get the ball almost pixel
perfect through two obstacles. Some rooms are in darkness but there is a
flashlight you can collect which will totally illuminate these rooms (eat
your heart out Duracell!); the question of what the Airball is actually
holding the flashlight with, is left unexplored.

The Airball is constantly deflating, so you need to periodically visit one
of the airpumps dotted about the mansion. Careful though! If you linger
too long on the pump you'll explode and the tattered remains of the
Airball will flutter about the screen! Heh, heh.

The graphics and sound are decent enough without being superb and there's
a nice line in decorative writhing dragons, on either side of the screen,
for some reason.

And that is really all there is to it; there are no secrets or powerups to
collect, just good, honest, simple gameplay that's quite addictive. On
the downside, the game is often rather fiddly - steering the ball through
many narrow pathways time and time again is often fustrating and although
you get three lives, each time you burst you go right back to the start
point of the game. Argh! On balance though, it's well worth a look.






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