SOFTWARE REVIEW: AIRBALL CONSTRUCTION KIT by Richard Karsmakers
Suppose you've been one of those "Airball" freaks since the very
beginning. You've played it for hours and hours and you really
thought that it was a great program: Great graphics, swell
sounds, good game plot, what's more to wish?
The answer to that seemingly rhetorical question is: A
construction kit. All good games have 'em: "Arkanoid",
"Gauntlet", "Tonic Tile", "Boulder Dash" (er...Good?) and now
also "Airball". This program allows you to make your own
"Airball" rooms, and to design your own maze - as large or as
minute as you want it to be.
First thing you'll have to do is draw out the whole maze setup on
paper (or, maybe better, using your kid brother's building
stones) and give each room a different number. Then you can start
arranging all the attributes in the room: Spikes, light bulbs,
different styles of tiles - everything you were likely to run
into in the original "Airball" and more!
While using the program, you feel like a real artist making a
game that will stun the world. Once you've gotten used to the
environment the "Airball Construction Kit" employs (that is not
reaklly extremely userfriendly, and uses the mouse as well as
arrow up/down and return keys), you define the size of the rooms,
where the exits have to be and the heights of the exits. Then you
can start putting things in the room - the different tiles I
already mentioned, trees, cacti, statues, skeletons, building
stones, etc. You can this way create levels that have stairs in
them, different heights, etc. And it's even possible to create
rooms that you can never leave again.
If you have time enough, and if you have the necessary patience,
the "Airball Construction Kit" can give birth to another
magnificent program - partly made by you! Using the dozens and
dozens of blocks, your version can look quite different from the
The rooms as well as the object data (that's a file in which the
locations of the crucifix, spellbook, etc. are given) have to be
stored on a seperate disk for each game you want to create. A
program is included on the disk that allows you to actually play
your own "Airball", or to play the "Airball" version that's
delivered with the package (a little bit different from the
The "Airball Construction Kit" also includes advanced functions
that allow you to walk through all the levels you made (by
pressing the mouse in either corner of the screen in the
"Explore" option) and more like those. It is a worthy extension
of such a high-class program as "Airball" itself. It might have
been more userfriendly but it's not that difficult to work with
once you've grown used to it.
Name: Airball Construction Kit
Graphics: 9 (original "Airball" stuff)
Sound: None (except in the game)
Overall rating: 8.5
Remark: Worthy extension of "Airball"
Thanks to Mandy Brett (Microdeal) for sending the original
(though it arrived too late and I had to use someone else's
original to write this review).
For info, contact: Microdeal
Cornwall PL25 4YB
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.