Ballblazer

Ballblazer

Ballblazer

Future sport, retro-style.

After initially flirting with the Atari 8-bit machines, LucasFilm evidently noted that the C64 was a more bankable format internationally. When that time came in mid 1985, it unleashed a flurry of top-rated and hugely ambitious games in the shape of The Eidolon, Rescue on Fractalus, Koronis Rift and Ballblazer.

All worthy of the prestigious Zzap Sizzler award, perhaps the most accessible and instantly gratifying of the lot was Ballblazer - a first person perspective 3D future sport where you had to guide your 'Rotofoil' around a basic chequered playfield and attempt to shoot a floating ball into your opponent's 'goalbeam'. Zzap awarded it an incredible 98 per cent - its highest-ever score at that point, and one that wouldn't be topped for years.

Designed primarily as a two-player game, the action was displayed in split screen, allowing you to also see what your opponent was up to, and where they were on the field of play - crucial for the purposes of sneaky dispossession. Once in possession, the game snaps your viewpoint automatically to face the goal - confusing at first, but quite an elegant way to deal with what might have otherwise been a disorientating affair.

Read more