1989 – Speedball




Genres Sports, Action
Developers Bitmap Brothers, Kylotonn, Vivid Games
Publishers Image Works, Arena Entertainment, Empire Interactive Entertainment, Akella, Tower Studios
Platforms Acorn Archimedes, Atari ST,Amiga, Amiga CD32, Commodore 64, PC, NES, Sega Master System, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Sega Mega Drive,Windows Mobile, PlayStation,Xbox 360, iPhone, Symbian, Android
Platform of origin Atari ST
Year of inception 1988
First release Speedball
1988 (Atari ST) 1989 (Commodore 64)
Latest release Speedball 2 Evolution
February 2011


Joel:  Well folks, it’s time to come clean about something… No doubt, you’ve all been looking forward to another example of our excellent prose, expounding the virtues of Turbo Outrun- well I’m afraid it’s not to be. We took the difficult decision last week to drop T.O. due to technical and practical reasons. I’m just as disappointed as you as Outrun was a gaming staple for me for a lot of years and I fought hard to get one on the list. Still, onward and upward, here instead, is my take on its replacement- Speedball for the c64. It only arrived this morning so I have played it precisely zero times. I do remember renting its sequel for the Mega Drive when I was a young buck. I also remember it being one of those games you run home with as fast as your little legs can muster only to fire it up and find it’s nothing like you expect. I found it remarkably difficult to understand the power up system, which is a very important part of the game and was routinely stomped by all comers. I’d be lying if i said i was looking forward to this one especially given what it replaced but hey, I’ll keep an open mind and assuming my brain doesn’t fall out you never know, I might like it. Put your money on Liam here though, form definitely puts this one firmly in his court.


Liam:  I would lament the loss of Turbo Outrun but I’m delighted that now we are cooking on gas. High octane, technologically augmented gas. I’ve never played the original speedball but played a lot its sequel, the imaginatively entitled Speedball 2 (which is available on Android if you are interested). The premise is simple- you control a team of metal clad meatheads against another team of metal clad meatheads in an futuristic, ultra-violent game of handball where battering your opponent is rewarded just as highly as actually scoring. If you are a fan of Scottish League 3 Football or supported Wimbledon AFC in the 90’s you would love this game.

Game was developed by a company called Bitmap Brothers who produced a whole set of great games around this time. Xenon being a fantastic vertically scrolling shooter, Z a RTS which relied on quick thinking and a series of platform games like Gods and Magic Pockets. All of these games are utterly fantastic and represent a good portion of my time in my early years and are well worth checking out.

I spent hours when I was younger playing this game so I think I will comfortably beat Joel. In fact I think this will be so comfortable I will be spending most of my time showboating. To save time I don’t even have to memorise the button combination to ‘do the robot’ as luckily every button ‘does the robot’.


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