This classic one-on-one basketball game on the Commodore 64 originated on the Apple II in 1983 and was later converted to other systems courtesy of Electronics Arts.
One on One: Dr. J vs. Larry Bird is remembered as one of the best basketball games of all time and does indeed have a lot of subtlety to it that isn’t obvious until you play it.
This 2005 tennis game is one of my favourite sports games of all time.
Mario Tennis: Power Tour was developed by Camelot for Nintendo and is known as Mario Power Tennis in Europe and Australia, but I’m sticking to the original title.
This is the 1979, black and white arcade game, Basketball, as developed and manufactured by Atari Inc. It had two trackballs on the cabinet – one for each player.
I do enjoy a game of FIFA Street 2 on my XBox from time to time. It doesn’t have all the pompous dramatics of a regular FIFA game, although it does have the players.
This British conversion of Konami‘s Hyper Sports arcade game is a smash hit ZX Spectrum game – arguably one of the best Spectrum arcade conversions of all time.
Swimming, skeet shooting, vaulting, archery, triple jump, and weightlifting all feature – just like in the arcade game. Don’t be too put off at the prospect of a lot of joystick waggling. Thankfully Hyper Sports is more than just a button-basher. There’s also some skill and timing involved too.
Beautifully programmed by the late Jonathan Smith, Hyper Sports was initially published by Imagine Software in 1985.
Hyper Sports is the iconic 1984 sequel to Konami‘s arcade hit Track & Field.
It once again features multi event sports challenges for one or more players, this time featuring swimming, clay pigeon shooting, vaulting, archery, triple jump, and weightlifting. And maybe pole-vaulting, although I didn’t see it in the version I played.
Jolly music, exuberant player sprites, and bad translation characterise Hyper Sports, but the arcade original is still a really solid challenge for those who like sport-themed button-bashers.
IJK Software released Rocketball on the Commodore 64 in 1985. It is based on the infamous 1975 film, Rollerball.
Just like in the film, Rocketball is played on a oval, inclined rollerskating track. Two teams of skaters must collect a rolling ball that is fired into the arena and throw the ball into the correct hole to score a goal.
There are four teams to choose from in the game: Houston, Madrid, Tokyo, and Moscow.
One big downside to Rocketball is the fact that there are two goals, which is very confusing and often leads to own goals (I scored a last minute own goal to give my opponent the match on one occasion). The goals are colour-coded, but it’s not clear at all which is yours. Rocketball would have been better with one goal, but then again: it’s ridiculously simple anyway and removing one goal might have made it too simple.
Rocketball is an entertaining distraction for an hour or so, but not much more than that. It would obviously have been better with motorbikes in it (like in the film), and it might have benefited from a few more player moves, or at least a bit more depth to the gameplay. As it stands, Rocketball is alright – nothing special.
Note: It’s funny to see the advertising boards in the game, including one for the now defunct fizzy pop brand “Quatro”. There’s an ad for IBM, Kodak and one for Coca Cola too, so I’m guessing they were paid-for slots.
Although it’s not quite Leaderboard, Chip Shot Super Pro Golf is a decent enough golf game on the Intellivision console. Arguably even the best.
Graphically it’s quite nice, with the golfer represented as a sprite in a black box and the various courses shown from an overhead view.
Making shots is easy enough; you rotate a direction cross; choose your club, then make a double press on the fire button to decide shot strength and amount of ball slice/hook. That said: there does seem to be an element of luck involved as wild shots are the norm when first playing. Eventually (if you practise enough) you’ll get the hang of it and start getting the ball onto the green.
On the putting green the view switches to a closer overhead view of the hole; markings on the ground indicate whether there are any slopes on the green. Sand bunkers and water traps must obviously be avoided.
Chip Shot Super Pro Golf can be played solo, or with one other human opponent, and there are plenty of courses available to play, and even a built-in course designer. It’s very simple stuff, though, so don’t expect too much and you won’t be disappointed.
Known affectionately as ‘Indy 500‘, this high octane race game broke new ground when it was first released in 1989.
It was one of the first racing games to become a full-on racing simulation, and actually feel as though you could get somewhere with it. Indy 500 wasn’t as impenetrable as something like Revs. It was (and still is) extremely playable…
Indianapolis 500: The Simulation also contains an innovative and easy-to-use replay feature, which allows you to re-run races from a variety of angles, and also pause and rewind the action as desired.
It may be quite simplistic by today’s standards, but Indy 500 can still give a brilliant race now. The speed and exhilaration as you play are outstanding.