Anyone who remembers that classic film of the 1970s, Roller ball, will recognise this game immediately. It tries to bring to the computer the violence, action and excitement of the game that reflected all that was bad about society's bloodlust for a gladiatorial arena.
The game is set on a circular rink with banked boards, much like a cycling arena. This is represented by a scrolling screen which the players can move up and down as if it were banking. The players two teams of five - are on rollerskates. You control whichever of your five skaters is on screen.
The players can be speeded up, slowed down, made to crouch and jump. They can also run into other players to deliberately elbow them to the ground. If a player falls over it takes a while for him to get back up. The remaining players are computer-controlled. If you play against the computer you'll find seven very tough skill levels.
The aim of all this skating mayhem is simply to pick up a ball that is shot into the arena like a cannonball around a roulette wheel and throw it into the opposition's goal. This is just a small box on the top wall. The ball can also be used as an offensive weapon to throw at the other players, and you need to be careful about tripping over it yourself.
There's a lot of fun to be had here, particularly in two-player games. The graphics leave a bit to be desired but they are fast and effective. You have P Beckett to thank for that - he did the Amstrad conver sion. It s the sort of game that relies purely on the two players to make it interesting, but even against the computer you can have tough battles requiring strategy and quick reactions.
BW, AMSTRAD ACTION n°16