Most of the time, the whole 8-bit budget software scene was a bit of a bad joke on those stupid enough to waste their pocket money/ paper round on them.
You generally got exactly what you paid for: crap, derivative pap with cheap cover art, an inlay with barely any instructions, and a game on cassette knocked out by novice coders trying to make a name for themselves. But now and then, Firebird or Mastertronic would unearth a real gem that was easily the rival of games retailing at four times the price. I Ball was definitely one of the best examples.
With the prolific Rob Hubbard twiddling the audio knobs, it grabbed everyone's attention by announcing itself upon loading, screaming "I Ball! I-I-I-I I-Ball! I Ball!", before one of Hubbard's trademark stomping tunes goaded you to play this wickedly addictive vertically scrolling shooter.