In Speedball, you control a gang of five ‘ballers’, in what is the game of the future. The basic rules are pretty straight forward. The play area is a steel-wall encased arena with a goal at either end. Two teams compete, and the aim is to get the ball into the opponent’s goal more often than the opposing side. The ball is carried, and after that there are no rules as such because once you get the ball you’ve got to try and stop your opponent from robbing you and basically he doesn’t care how he gets it.
The best way to go about this, and in effect one of the only two ways to do it, is to slug the nearest opposing player right across the chops. This effectively gets him out of the way for a few seconds and gives you a bit of breathing space. After that you should belt up the pitch and whizz the ball in the back of the net. Speedball is amazingly violent. You can beat up other players to make it just that little easier to get to the goal. In a game as warped and violent as this one, corruption naturally fits in quite nicely, and corruption there is. At various points, items will appear on the track. These range from weapon tiles, which basically turn the ball into a weapon, effectively knocking out any opposing players who try to catch it. Speedball also comes complete with a wide and extensive set of options.
These range from starting a league or knockout championship against the computer, or playing a two player league that can last anything up to 100 weeks. Graphics are fab. The vertical scrolling of the pitch is amazingly smooth and the full screen format works really well. The definition of the characters is very clear, and the photographs you get of the leader of each team, and the fist which impatiently pounds an armoured leg whilst the game waits for you to make a decision is comic book quality.