by Mark Nobes, chief editor
In the 1980s, Speedball was a fast-paced, futuristic sports game that was like a violent version of hockey (with elements of pinball) and was inspired by the film Rollerball. However, these days it's known as a dangerous drug, apparently - how times have changed!
Created by The Bitmap Brothers (who also released Xenon during 1988) the idea of the game was to gain possession of a metal ball and hit it into your opponents goal.
The game was initially released on the Atari ST in November 1988, but then ported to the Commodore Amiga, PC, C64, Sega Master System and several other systems. The game won the 1989 Golden Joystick Game of the Year Award.
The speed of gameplay is just about right (fast but not hectic), and the two-player mode really was just brilliant, making the game highly addictive - I can imagine many gamers would have been playing well past their bedtime, and probably turning up late for school/work the next day!
Although Speedball 2 - Brutal Deluxe was seen as an even better game by many, it was the original Speedball that gave gamers that initial excitement, and without it, Speedball 2 wouldn't have been created, of course.
I've seen mixed comments about Speedball 2 on Youtube, with still many people preferring the original. I guess it's personal choice!