PREVIEW: AIRBALL by Richard Karsmakers
The English company Microdeal has succeeded in staggering ST
users several times: In the times when games were as rare as wild
Panda bears, they came out with "Time Bandits", an all-time
classic. The game featured graphics that had not been seen on the
ST yet, and the set-up was large and impressive. "Time Bandits"
can still compete with many modern-day games. Some months ago
they launched the shoot-'em-up game "Goldrunner", featuring
scrolling not yet done better on the ST, terrific smooth
movements and impressive overall graphics (the reason why the
game now roams in the highest regions of our Pop Poll software
top 10 - see elsewhere in this issue of ST NEWS). But now they've
once again published a fantastic game, better than "Time Bandits"
and just as good or maybe better than "Goldrunner": "Airball".
"Airball" is just the kind of game I really like: Wandering
around in many rooms, trying to get things. I've tried to make a
map of all floors, and I have already discovered 14 floors with
about one hundred rooms - impressive job done here by Peter
Scott. "Get the spellbook", thus reads the message at the start
of the game. It sounds easy but I can assure you it isn't. Some
rooms feature quite difficult 'puzzles' - some even so
complicated that nobody I know has ever been able to solve them.
So I still haven't found anything only slightly resembling a
Spellbook - only a lamp, a cross and some food (?).
Most stunning of the whole game are the graphics, done by Pete
Lyon. Every room is different (except for some tunnels that link
together some rooms) and are equipped with fire-places, light
bulbs, different walls, tables, statues (heads - of the authors?
- as well as knights), dead-coffins, bodies, skeletons, etc. -
too much to account for here.
You are an Airball that has to find its way through all the
rooms, thereby avoiding all spiky obstacles (of you fail to do
so, that results in a sound like the noise that arises from your
inflatible boat if you hit the underwater decaying remains of
some rusty bicycle) and also avoiding some kinds of stones (that
are sometimes purple, sometimes green and sometimes light grey).
While playing (and enjoying the music composed by P. Schields,
which sounds well but just not as good as Hubbard-, Gehrmann-or
Whittaker music) I found out that there is one room that causes a
program crash. It is a room that is not really easy to get to,
but I cannot get rid of the impression that the Spellbook will
actually have to be found somewhere beyond that room!
Author: Ed Scio
Overall rating: 9
Remarks: Shame of the 'crash' room
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.