8-Bit Software
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Professional, Released On Cassette Only


Game Type          : Arcade; Overhead M/Code Ball Game

Authors            : Martin Edmondson & Peter Scott

Standalone Release(s)  : 1988: BALLISTIX, Superior/Acornsoft, £9.95

                    1990: BALLISTIX, Superior/Blue Ribbon, £2.99

Compilation Release(s) : 1990: PLAY IT AGAIN SAM 14, Superior/Acornsoft, £9.95

Stated compatibility    : Electron

Actual compatibility    : Electron, BBC B, B+ and Master 128

Supplier            : SUPERIOR/ACORNSOFT, 3 Manor Drive, Scawby, Brigg, NORTH

                    LINCOLNSHIRE DN20 9AX

Disc compatibility     : CDFS E00, DFS E00




Winning a level

To win a level, you must score three goals before your opponent scores three goals. To score goals you fire balls from your firing arrow at the puck (the large red ball) and drive it into your opponent's goal. Note however that if the puck is travelling at very high velocity when it reaches the goal, it may rebound out.


You should also try to score as many points as possible. A goal scores from 15 to 85 points, depending on how "good" it is. For example, goals scored from the centre of the ground tend to gain higher points than those scored in front of the goal or from the edges. Bonus points can be obtained by shooting bonus point tiles (illustrated below*) and by collecting a full set of RICOCHET letter files.


Overall objective in the one-player game

Your overall objective in the one-player game is to beat the computer over 29 levels of play and reach the final "victory" screen with as high a score as possible.


Whenever the computer wins a level, the game is terminated and you return to level 1. You can use passwords to commence play from a higher level, provided you have previously reached that level and hence obtained the password. To obtain the highest score you can, it makes sense to commence from level 1.


Overall objective in the two-player game

Your overall objective in the two-player game is to win more of the 30 levels of play than your opponent, whilst obtaining as high a score as possible.


An alternative objective in the two-player game is simply to obtain a higher score than your opponent.


You can use passwords to commence play at any level you wish, provided you have previously reached that level and hence obtained the password.


Game Options

From the title screen, the first level of the one-player game is selected by pressing the 1 key, the first key of the two-player game is selected by pressing the 2 key. Once the password is known for any subsequent level, in either the one-player or two-player game, that level can be selected by pressing the P key, and then typing in the four-letter password.


Features Activated By Shooting Tiles


R,I,C,O,C,H,E,T  .... Collect a full set of RICOCHET tiles for a bonus of 100-500


50, 100  ............ 50 point bonus, 100 point bonus

                      SPLITTERS giving four new balls

                      SPLITTERS giving eight new balls

X ................... Stop opponent's fire for duration of bleeps

                      Randomly change ball's direction

S ................... Stop puck dead

? ................... Send puck in random direction at random speed


Firing Controls

The keys to move the positions of the firing arrows and to fire balls are redefinable (by pressing the C key) before commencing play. Initially the keys are defined as:


              BBC Micro                                    Electron

        Player 1    Player 2                         Player 1    Player 2


           Z           >            Move Left           Z           <

           X           ?            Move Right          X           >

           Q           {             Move Up            W           `

           A           *            Move Down           S           +

          TAB          `               Fire             Q           -


Other Controls


SHIFT and COPY ............................... Pause Game

SHIFT and DELETE ........................... Restart Game

S/Q (when game is paused) .................. Sound On/Off

SHIFT and ESCAPE .............................. Quit Game



Instructions' Source   : PLAY IT AGAIN SAM 14 (Superior/Acornsoft) Inner Inlay


Review (Electron User) - "Having A Ball"

BALLISTIX, Superior Software's latest release, is a sort of cross between a pinball machine and shove ha'penny, making it unlike anything you've seen before. It's a one or two player game and is great fun either against the micro or a friend.


The game is played on a court and the screen shows about half of this from a bird's eye viewpoint, scrolling as necessary to reveal the rest. At either end of the court is a goal, yours at the bottom of the screen in the one player game. You can take your pick in the two player version.


The puck - a large red ball - is released in the centre of the court. You control an arrow which automatically follows the puck a short distance away and always points toward it. You fire small balls at the puck in an attempt to knock it into the opposing goal.


While you're about this tricky business your opponent or the computer is attempting to reverse the process.


The computer opponent simply takes the form of gravity - it's like playing uphill. It might not sound difficult, but in practice it certainly is.


You score points for goals, but the number you receive depends on how good the goal is. Run the puck over the line and you won't score many, but a long shot from halfway down the court earns a lot.


To add interest and create a lot of frustration various objects litter the court and special tiles can be shot for extra features and bonuses. Arrows accelerate the puck in the direction they point, which more often than not isn't the direction you want to go. Also the puck can disappear down black holes and reappear in the centre of the court. Tunnels such in the puck and blast it out of the other end. Ridges present barriers and magnets attract it. Oil slicks and dead spots stop the ball.


Bonus tiles can be shot and RICOCHET letters can be collected for a further bonus. Splitters shatter the ball into four or eight bits, other tiles stop or send the puck off in a random direction.


You start off on a court with very few extra features, and on scoring three goals you move on to the next and harder level. More features are progressively added to increase the difficulty. With 30 levels to master, BALLISTIX is very challenging. One feature I particularly like is that on completing a level you are given a password so you can skip any levels you've mastered next time you play.


The Mode 5 feature are excellent, and minor colour changes add a little variety. The sprites are well defined and clearly visible over the background court graphics. The court scrolls quite quickly, though it jerks a little, but I didn't notice this while playing.


The sound effects are limited, just the odd beep here and there when the puck is hit or bounces off an object. A tune or two would have brightened up the game.


BALLISTIX is original, fun and very addictive. Each new level is a challenge which brings a new court layout with several surprises. I found it just as much fun as a one player game with a friend. If you're on the lookout for something completely different, BALLISTIX could be right up your street. Recommended.

Roland Waddilove


* * * Second Opinion * * * (Electron User)

I found BALLISTIX interesting initially, but after a while it became tedious. The two player version has more challenge, so if you can't find an opponent to play it with I'd forget it.



Sound ........................... 5

Graphics ....................... 10

Playability .................... 10

Value for money ................. 9

Overall ......................... 9