Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Arcade; Ice Hockey Match
Author : Margaret Stanger
Standalone Release(s) : 1986: ICE HOCKEY, Bug Byte, £1.99
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron/BBC Dual Version
Actual compatibility : Electron, BBC B, B+ and Master 128
Supplier : BUG BYTE, Liberty House, 222 Regent Street, LONDON W1R 7DB
Tel: 01/439 0666
Disc compatibility : CDFS E00, DFS E00
"Ever thought you would be any good with a hockey stick? Can you be the King of Ice Hockey? On the other hand, who gives a flying puck if you don't win? It's only a game - by Michael Stanger. Fast, Furious and Very Slippery! Two Player option."
Each team of six players has a goal minder, two defencemen and three forwards.
Play is commenced and after a goal has been scored, by a face-off. The puck is dropped in the centre of the rink between the sticks of the opposing centremen. At other times, the puck bounces off the sides to come back to play. The two blue lines divide the playing area into three zones, defence, neutral (centre) and attacking zones. Only three players may be in their own defence zones when the puck is outside it.
A player may only enter the attacking zone in line with or behind the puck or puck possessor. He may not take a pass from a team mate who is at the moment of passing, in another zone. To stay on-side, a player can only pass to a colleague in the same zone (also to anyone in his own half if he is in his defence zone).
For a one player game, the user controls the red team, and for the two player game the left hand player controls the left red team and the right hand player controls the blue team.
In the red teams' neutral and attacking zones, the centre player can be controlled by the keys on the joystick and will be highlighted in magenta. In the defence zone, the goalkeeper will be user-controlled in the same way. For a two player game, the user-controlled blue team player will be highlighted in green. The other players will be computer-controlled.
When he presses <SPACE> or a fire button, he can hit the puck forwards.
The score-board and time will be shown at all times; when the time reaches 200, the game will be over. A new game will start after a short pause.
Z - Left, X - Right, * - Up, ? - Down
Reds: Z - Left, X - Right, Q - Up, A - Down
Blues: < - Left, > - Right, P - Up, L - Down
M/H - Music On/Off, F/C - Freeze/Continue
<SPACE> - Hit the puck, <SHIFT> - Shoot the puck
Instructions' Source : ICE HOCKEY (Bug Byte) Back and Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User) - "Sloppy Simulation"
Fancy skimming over the ice and flicking the puck into the opponents' net? That's what's on offer in this team game simulation for one or two players from Bug-Byte.
The rules are all well explained on the cassette inlay and the keys you need to use are displayed on the screen at the start of the game. In fact, it's a well-packaged budget-priced game.
You start with a face-off in the centre and you can see the central third of the rink. If the puck moves to either end the appropriate third of the pitch is drawn. This redrawing is rather sluggish on the Electron and makes the game seem disjointed. There is a permanent on-screen display of the score and the amount of time played.
Ice hockey lends itself to being a computer game. It is only six-a-side and has strict rules about player positions, so the number of characters moving on the screen is limited and should make for a fast game. Also, a small puck is used rather than a large wall which should help with the speed of drawing.
The playing rules are simple too. There are no throw-ons to cope with as the ball bounces off side walls, and in this well behaved version there are no fouls or sin bins.
With so many advantages over football, it's a pity that this game does not really work. The players do not glide gracefully over the ice, but jerk about in a manner that would cause real players to fall over on the ice.
There seems to be no way of giving the puck a satisfying thwack up to the other end of the rink. Instead, you can only push it a small distance in front of you.
One of your worst problems is making sure that your computer-controlled team-mates do not get the puck. If they do, they run up to the goal and spend the rest of the game not scoring and not passing.
As you try tour hardest to wrest the puck away from them, the noises (hardly sound effects) will drive you to distraction. You'll wonder where the music promised on the cassette inlay has got to: the suggested keys for music on and off have no effect.
If the opposition get the puck they will run it up the pitch and spend ages failing to score or pass. Once again the noises are intolerable and the best route out is to quit the game by pressing the <ESCAPE> key.
It will be small consolation to Electron owners to know that if they load the same code into a BBC Micro, all the problems vanish and the game becomes fast, smooth, musical and much more fun.
I really wonder if Bug-Byte checked ICE HOCKEY on the Electron. I feel sure the company can't have intended to let such a poor game tarnish its reputation.
Sound ........................... 0
Graphics ........................ 5
Playability ..................... 1
Value for money ................. 2
Overall ......................... 3
Rog Frost, ELECTRON USER 4. 8