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"Games of the Week!"

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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!
1986 Odin Computer Graphics
Programmed by Mark Dawson

"The hardened steel sphere whips past the grounders, out of left-zone, through the shield and into right-zone. The two strike 1 players can't follow it, so it's left for the strike 2 players in right-zone to compete for the now slowing ball..."

Hypa-Ball, by Odin Computer Graphics, was one of those games that took an original and simple idea and didn't try to plague it with fancy graphics and a complex plot. The game's simplicity alone gave it challenge, thrill, humour, sadness, joy and pain. Well it did when I was 12 years old anyway!

So what made it so good? Was it the moody intergalactic musical score? Was it the cool sucking sound the ball made when you scored? Or was it merely the anticipation of seeing those dancing cheerleaders one more time? Whatever your reasons, I think you'll agree (if you played it) that this was one seriously cool game, even more so when played in 2-player mode.

The game starts out with you selecting the members for your team. You need to pick 3 out of the 10 players available, each having their own speed, strength and agility (I seem to remember the bald android guy with the silver head had pretty good stats). Two of your players will fly around the arena with their rocket-packs and the third will just run around on the ground and take the odd free-kick.

Then it's onto the game... first of all the beautiful (if slightly blocky) cheerleaders come on to spruce up the atmosphere. Then come the players themselves, rising up from hidden platforms in the floor to a glorious fanfare. In the background, the countless hundreds of spectators are watching in anticipation as the competition is about to begin!

The game is simple: Score more than your opponent before the time runs out by passing a steel sphere between your players and shooting at a moving goal. This may seem a really simple and boring concept but it has a few extra rules that makes it flow magnificently... For starters, when players catch the sphere they cannot move and they have only a couple of seconds before they must release it (by passing to another player or shooting at the moving goal). The arena itself is laid out in 2 halves with the goal moving up and down the centre, dividing the arena. At the edges of the arena, there are 2 shields that will immediately zap the sphere over to the other playing half. If any player holds the sphere for too long, a penalty is awarded to the other team and the player on the ground gets a free kick at the goal.

I think the challenge and lastability of this game comes from the competitive fast-paced action and the skill and judgement needed to score a goal. Played in 1-Player mode, the game has limited appeal as after a while you are soon too much a match for the computer controlled opponents. The 2-Player mode however is a different story altogether, especially if your human opponent is as good, if not slightly better than you are.

The only downside to Hypa-Ball is the lack of options. It would have been nice to see different skill levels for the computer team, and a league or knockout competition certainly wouldn't have gone amiss. Apart from these minor grievances though, the game's a blast.


Submitted by James Burrows (05 October 2000)

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