T his is one of the most addictive games I have played in a long time. Beach Volley is as simple to play as it is gorgeous to look at – and by simple I do not mean easy, but brilliantly straightforward in idea.
The game has both one and two-player options, and the rest is simplicity itself. First of all you or your opponent serves, knocks the ball over the net to an opposing player, who passes it to his team mate, who lobs back over the net, then the process is repeated. A flashing symbol indicates the spot where the ball will land; the ball can only be touched twice when it is in your possession; and the first team to score seven, with a margin of two, wins. And that is it…
Apart from the fact that Beach Volley sets a furious pace, and you can get to do close-to-the-net smashes, volleys from the rear of the court, and you can play bluff with your opponents. I love playing table top football - Beach Volley is similar in that you instinctively know what your next move should be but are your reflexes up to the test?
The graphics are really quite enchanting, in particular the animation sequences which link each level. Every game takes place in a different country, and the links take the mickey a bit; so, for instance, you will arrive at Hawaii on a sailboard which has been strapped to a sea serpent.
The title screen has been drawn like a page from a teenager’s comic. The programming for this game was done in France and it has the look of a Frenchman’s idea of what the perfect American ‘yoof’ should be like; so thank God that it was not programmed in America, or we would have got the Waltons.
And that is it, apart from to say that Beach Volley has a jolly nice soundtrack full of rock ‘n’ roll and other popular noises and that you really ought to give this one a go. It has hot nice big sprites, Day-Glo colours, and it is actually rather good. .
CU Amiga, September 1989, p.23
Ocean, Amiga £24.95
ne of London's top two-man volleyball teams has been offered the opportunity of a lifetime: a free trip around the world. The only catch is that they must beat the host country's top team to be allowed to progress to the next. The first contest is London, with the houses of Parliament in the background, and Royal Guardsmen acting as the scorers. There are eight countries to visit in all, including America, Russia, Egypt and France. Each country has different backgrounds, tougher gameplay and a hilarious intro-sequence showing the two men arriving in the country. Alternatively two human players can battle it out in London.
The rules of volleyball are fairly simple. A point is scored by making the ball land inside your opponent's half of the court, but only if you're serving. If not, you win serve, and the opportunity to score points. Once the ball crosses over the net it can be touched only twice before being returned. To win the game you must score seven points with a lead of two points. In the computer game there's also a time limit, indicated by a rock jingle which starts up as time is running out.
Actually playing the game is straightforward too. To serve you press fire, throwing the ball up, then press fire again to hit the ball. As the ball crosses the net the screen pans to follow it, and when it comes back you're automatically given control of the nearest man. Unless you're blocking a smash (or 'spike' in volleyball-ese), your first move will simply to keep the ball in the air, allowing you to manoeuvre into position to hit it back. To begin with simply keeping the ball aloft will be enough to keep you occupied, but the more the play the more moves and tactics become apparent. It's perfectly possible to aim the ball as you hit it, but getting the knack takes practice.
Zzap! Issue 55, November 1989, p.75