Turboflex, Atari 8-bit

Jeff Minter‘s 1982 Atari 8-bit game, Turboflex, is an interesting but frustrating bouncing ball game where the aim is for you to deliberately bounce a ball into a target inside a box by dropping flippers onto it – diagonal posts that spin the ball in different directions, depending on its position when hit by the ball. The target, depending on your game settings, moves, reverses or does other tricks, so as not to get hit/caught by you.

Turboflex is an interesting idea, but in execution it doesn’t quite work and the flippers that you drop seem to follow a convention I cannot understand, and will direct the ball everywhere but where you want it to go. Even with intense concentration it’s impossible to direct the ball where you want it to go, which leads me to believe that either there’s a glitch with dropping flippers, or I’m not completely understanding how to do it properly.

On the plus side there’s a high score table with name entry, and some interesting use of colour, but graphically Turboflex is about as basic as you can get for a video game of the early Eighties. Gameplay-wise it’s a bit under-developed too.

With tweaks Turboflex could’ve been interesting, but as it stands it’s not much more than a curiosity from Minter‘s early coding days, and as far as I know he didn’t develop the game anywhere else further.

More: Turboflex on Moby Games

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