System...:
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Wizball
Commodore 64
Ocean
Chris Yates & Jon Hare
1987
GTi
Who hasn't played this before? It was voted by Zzap as the best arcade game of 1988.

It came out on all computer models but the C64 version is still the best version.

You are, guess what, a wizard's ball and are dropped in a colourless world. Your job is to get the colour drops (red, green and blue) to fill the wizard's cauldron. When a cauldron is full the wizard adds a colour to the world. Each world needs several colours and colour combinations to finish.

A brief description for a game that takes a lot of time to complete.

There are 8 horizontal scrolling worlds, linked to each other by manholes or pipeholes. On each world there is only one colour to grab. So if you need to combine two colours you have to go through several worlds. You can only access 3 worlds at the same time. Access is gained if you complete one world.

At the start of each life you have practically no control over your ball (ahem, should I say character?). Only left and right is possible while bouncing in the air. You'd better watch out for the hazards coming at you. It's best to take the start slowly and to shoot some "grapefruit" shapes. When taken you can choose between some icons at the bottom of the screen (ala Nemesis) to improve your controls or fire power. Wriggle left and right fast to activate your choice. Go for the movement icons first and then for the little chap.

You need this little ball to catch the colour drops (shoot them first). He's the only one who can fill the cauldrons (hold down the fire button to control him). He can act as a shield for the hazards but don't let him take too much bullets or he will be gone to "dead balls land" (love that sound when he does that).

You can rest for a while at the bottom of the screen or if you let one baddie alive. The screen stays empty and only replenishes with baddies and colour drops if you shoot the last one. Also, you don't have to go through the worlds in the right order to finish them.

When a cauldron is full you finally meet your boss the wizard who adds a colour to a world and kicks your *ss back on the street to get some more (after playing the rather dull sub-game).

Every world has its own theme and the graphics are big and smooth. The scrolling is excellent. Besides the gameplay the best part is the sound. Weird noises coming out of the SID you've never heard before all giving the right mood to the game.



I had forgotten how bad the loading screen is ...





Fully powered up ball and cat letting rip ...





When you've filled up a colour cauldron, you get to
choose a permanent power-up




I'm a bit crap at Wizball, so these screenshots only show the first 3 levels ...


Graphics: 93%

Sound: 98%

Gameplay: 96%

Overall: 96%
Big, smooth and fast. Great variation. Themed backdrops and hazards. Lovely colour drops. Great title tune and sound effects (all are original) giving the right mood. Sometimes as though someone is playing a synthesizer right next to you (referring to the game over tune). Galway at his best. Nope, no wild blasting. There is some thinking to be done here. The need to fill the cauldrons and to colourize your world keeps you going. Fluid gameplay. The only downside is the sub-game after you visited the wizard. Gets repetitive after a while. A C64 classic. It's still very original even after those many years. The best 8-bit version (beats the Amiga version too).

R E C O M M E N D E D   A L T E R N A T I V E S
none


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