Now this arcade game released by Psygnosis for the Commodore Amiga was something a little different in 1989.
If any of you owned (or played) a Crossfire set (by MB) you will know what this game is like.
It's very similar except you don't end up with blisters the size of a gobstopper on your trigger finger.
This game can be best described as a cross between football, air hockey and pinball - without the overall class and polish of either Speedball 2 or Pinball Dreams.
Once again Psygnosis treated us to some lavish cover and in game art that had little to do with game itself! They had a habit of that in most of their arcade type games. Still, it was nice to look at.
It's quite a strange arcade game due to the one player mode. In one player mode it really is one player - you don't have a computer opponent to battle with. Honestly, I'm not joking!
No - playing on your own means that the table is 'tilted' towards you, so the ball always runs towards the bottom of the screen where your 'goal' is. You must defend this area at all costs.
So, you aim your balls (which aim at a cursor and shoot) uphill at the 'game ball' or puck and try to force it into the opponents goal. Except there is no opponent.
It's actually quite fun for a while as the physics are well done and have the right sort of 'pinball' feel. The gruff anouncement of 'let the game commence' at the beginning was quite exciting too, for a couple of times at least.
To spice up the action there were powerups available and collecting the letters to spell RICOCHET gave you a bumper 1000 points extra.
The game zone was also littered with obstacles (in true classic arcade fashion), troughs, bombs and rebound points and so on to make the puck fly off in many different directions.
This is where the game really worked, a lot of frantic moments could be had as the puck was sent rebounding and rocketing back down the screen as you frantically fired your ammo at it trying to move it away from your goal area.
For me the most fun to be had was going for the two player option. Playing against a friend was better than the uphill battle of one player mode - and could keep you going for a couple of hours anyway. It must be said that after a while one player mode became a load of ballistix.
The sound effects were pretty good and had a good 'arcade feel' to them too, and they did match up with the gameplay quite nicely.
Not a bad effort and something a little different for those that like a spot of arcade gaming. Oh - and the loading screen had a pretty cool 'rolldown' effect too.
We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware - but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download Ballistix. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
Please see our other Amiga retro game reviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys
GENRE: Arcade game
RELEASE DATE: 1989
RELEASED BY: Psygnosis
DEVELOPER(S): Tony Edmondson, Martin Edmondson, Rick Chamberlain, Paul Howarth
PRICE: £7.99 - UK
Classic Arcade Action:
Arcade Games, Classic Games and Amiga Games