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"Games of the Week!"


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What a brilliant game! Simple, yet incredibly addictive and playable. It's nice to get a harmless, unhyped game that you can load into your computer and just play without having to get to the next screen or solve. No hassle, just pure playability. The graphics are alright and the sound is pretty basic, but the gameplay is just superb and the scenario totally stupid. Be a devil and lash out a huge three quid for it.

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If you took any notice of the scenario, you would probably put the thing back on the shelf, which would undoubtedly be a mistake, because
Slamball is more than worth every penny as far as fun is concerned.

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Technically it's smooth enough, but certainly not a game to impress visually, which hardly matters as you get a fine pinball game with some unusual additions, and one which poses no problems in getting into, though it's quite hard to put down.

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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Slamball
1984 Synapse Software
Programmed by Stephen C. Biggs
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the fifteenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: June 12th, 1986).
 

SLAMBALL
Americana, 2.99 cass, joystick only


Well the big and nasty Americana Monster has come along and eaten up Mastertronic's pinball table and it's in there that the cute 'n smiley Slamball family habitate, a living clan of ball bearings with a happy disposition. The pinball table is inside the monsters stomach and the balls are in quite a bit of trouble. The pinball table is still operational and since the monster's stomach knows that the chewy and munchy slamball family are sitting inside, it's ejecting them one by one into the game. The hole at the bottom of the table, which normally recovers the ball, instead slides straight down into the monster's digestive tract. Luckily though, you, as a member of the secret society of prevention of cruelty to pinballs, have gained radio remote control of the table and you must now prevent any of the Slamball family from getting into Americana Monster's digestive tract.

The whole game revolves around a vertically scrolling window of four screens' worth which covers the entire length of the table. Even though the monster's stomach lining is pressing the 'play' button, it's up to you to decide on the power at which the ball is ejected into the playfield. There are four sets of flippers throughout the table and various positions of the joystick determine their movement - joystick left operates left flippers, joystick right operates right flippers, and pulling back on your stick causes them to flip away.

All the features included in a normal pinball machine are there, with bumpers, rollovers and everything else. Even a nudge is implemented for times of extreme danger. Hitting nudge causes monster wobble and the whole table wobbles as well. When a member of the Slamball family is about to meet its demise, it is quite wise to use the nudge feature as a last resort. Unfortunately overuse of nudge results in the table tilting and your flippers are then disabled until the current ball hits the Monster's alimentary canal. Very digestive.

Around the table are a number of monster stomach enzymes held in groups of up to four, just sitting there, waiting for a slamball to pass over. A slamball travelling over an enzyme disappears and when a whole group are devoured a blob materialises. Bash into this blob before it destroys itself by wandering into the table's walls and your score multiplier is increased. At the most, you can travel up to four times score, get another blob and the table resets itself to normal scoring. If all the enzymes are collected then that level is deemed to be complete and a bonus for any balls left is awarded.

The sound effects are suitably pinbally and all the while you can hear the monster gently humming to itself as it trogs down the street.

     

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I like Slamball, its the best game I've played for ages and is very addictive indeed, though really just a simple implementation of Pinball, it is so very well thought out that the enjoyment it provides is huge. For graphics freaks there's little to amaze or astound, the colour schemes are garish but the ball moves in an exceedingly convincing manner. For the money Slamball would be hard put to be beaten even by some of the excellent deals now offered by Mastertronic. Go out and buy a copy now.
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Presentation 88%

Straightforward, with neat and tidy on-screen appearance.

Graphics 65%
Large, rather simple and strongly coloured, but ball movements are convincing.

Sound 79%
Good pinball FX and stomach rumbling atmosphere
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Hookability 96%
Can't fail it, nothing to hold you back from instant enjoyment.

Lastability 96%
This one has the essential ingredient -- you just don't know when to stop.

Value For Money 99%
At its low price it's a steal.

Overall 96%
A simply addictive and highly playable pinball.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (4 Mar 2006)

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