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Incredible Shrinking Sphere logo  Zzap! Sizzler

Electric Dreams, C64 9.99 cass, 14.99 disk; Amiga 24.99
Incredible Shrinking Sphere It's no easy life if you're a shiny little metal ball. For a start, you're shoved into practically every game that's going on: marbles, pinball, bowls, executive toys, computer games you name it, it's got a little round ball in it.
Bet it hasn't got one, though, that can do as many things as the... wait for it... Incredible Shrinking Sphere.

You've heard of the Superbowl. Well, this is the Superball. Course, this metal mother doesn't just stay plain old average size it can change its volume, shrink or grow, arm itself with all sorts of dead complicated missiles, wear a shield, alter its weight and absorb assassins all over the shop. Why? Well, me old son, it's a bit like this...

Front: Oh no! Back: Wots going on up there? Somewhere in one of those very peculiar abstract worlds you tend to get a lot in computer games, there are loads and loads of different mazes. Each level is divided into four planes connected by lifts, and all you've got to do is find your way out.

Not easy that, 'cos floor's made up of all sorts of different tiles (see box) which alter your makeup, start decaying when you pass over them or just send you ricocheting off in every possible direction except the one you want to go in. Worse still, there are assassin generators all over the place if you touch any of these pods or spheres without a shield, you're in prime condition for the scrap heap. Ouch.

Course, if you want to get out alive, it's no good just going all out and whizzing round the course 'cos you'll last about five seconds. What you've gotta do is use yer brain. So that makes it just about the ideal game for everybody except Maff.

Zzap, Issue 48, April 1989, p.p.72-73

Maff W hen you first pick up ISS, you might not think it's all that great. The controls are a bit fiddly, you keep getting blown up all the time and you get lost in the mazes. But once you've got the hang of the control method, you start to find your way around and place the ammo dumps at strategic points; from them on, it's really gripping. The neat graphics and sound effects only make playing the game even more enjoyable! If you're looking for something that's really different and that'll last you a long time, you couldn't get much better than ISS.

Gordo W ell this makes a bit of a change, doesn't it? Actually it reminds me of t'good old days, back when I were a lad and there weren't half so many of them licences and tie-ins on the shelves. You've got to admit, this isn't quite as good as Spindizzy (that's one of my favorite games of all time, by the way) but it is extremely original, incredibly devious and packed full of the sort of puzzles you'd bend over backwards (not easy for a tub like me) to solve. If you know what's good for you, give up Mars bars for a week, wash the car, do a sponsored walk; anything (OK, OK, almost anything) just so you can get a copy of this.

Kati A ny wimps out there who've been bawling their eyes out over the lack of originality in the software industry, dry your eyes and come out of the cupboard RIGHT NOW. As a hotchpotch mixture of the Marble Madness style and loads of puzzle content, this has to be one of the most unusual, original and thought-provoking arcade games to hit ZZAP! Towers since Bombuzal. The action can get really frantic, the puzzles are dead fiendish and there are loads of different levels to explore. Just goes to show you don't need a licence to produce a really brilliant game.

BLACK HOLE Black hole
LEVEL EXIT Level exit
BINARY REBOUND BOOSTER Binary rebound booster
RAMP SHORT CUT Ramp short cut
DECREASE VOLUME Decrease volume
REVOLVER Black hole
AMMO SUPPLY DUMP Ammo supply dump

64   AMIGA
Tile directory, high score table plus the chance to position your own ammo supplies on both versions. The Amiga lets you adjust joystick controls.
82% GRAPHICS 80%
Detailed backgrounds plus very realistic 3D and ball movement; but there isn't that much colour.
93% SOUND 88%
Haunting tune (reminiscent of Delta) with abstract effects on the 64. Funky Amiga title tune with suitable banging and echoing in-game effects.
Control method takes a bit of getting used to but once you've got the hang of that, you're away.
With so many complex levels, you won't stop playing this for quite some time.
91% OVERALL 90%
A highly original and engrossing Marble Madness-style puzzle game.

Rockford: Spheres to you all!