SPHERE OF DESTINY
Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Horizontally Scrolling Arcade Game
Author : Gary Partis
Standalone Release(s) : 1986: SPHERE OF DESTINY, Audiogenic, £7.95
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : BBC Side A, Electron Side B
Actual compatibility : As stated
Supplier : AUDIOGENIC, Winchester House, Canning Road, HARROW HA3 7SJ
Disc compatibility : Unknown
"Bruce the bashful jet-ball is speeding along the technicoloured inter-Starian freeway en route to where his true love waits. But the course of true love never runs smooth, and the freeway surface is starting to crack up, with unpredictable results. So the stellar highway engineers have marked sections of the surface with different colours according to the different effects that they have on progress. Certain sections slow you down, speed you up, or make you bounce. Other sections can have the disastrous effect of reversing your ball controls - while others are just plain deadly!
SPHERE OF DESTINY is superfast arcade action for the BBC - including Master - and Electron. There are 64 stretches of freeway to test your reactions and dexterity to the limit - with a fulfilling reward for those who can make it through!"
Bruce the bashful jet-ball is speeding along the technicoloured inter-Starian freeway en route to where his true love waits. But the course of true love never runs smooth, and the freeway surface is starting to crack up, with unpredictable results. Rather than set up an intergalactic contraflow system, the stellar highway engineers have marked sections of the surface with different colours according to the different effects they have on progress...
BLUE - O.K. No problem.
YELLOW - O.K. No problem.
BLACK - Black Hole. Avoid these sections at all costs.
RED - Slows Bruce down.
GREEN - Gives Bruce a boost of speed.
MAGENTA - Gives Bruce a bounce.
WHITE - O.K. Gives a small bonus.
CYAN - Reverses Bruce's speed and steering controls - aagh!
Bruce has to travel 64 eons before he gets to his true love - and his reward! (In the year 2129, women seem to go for the oddest balls) Lucky Bruce has three lives, and your job is to help get him there - or at least as far as possible!
Note - Every self-inflicted bounce will reduce your lifespan more quickly!
Z - Left, X - Right, * - Speed Up, ? - Slow Down, RETURN - Bounce
Instructions' Source : SPHERE OF DESTINY (Audiogenic) Back And Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User) - "Something Really Special"
Just in at the last minute is SPHERE OF DESTINY, the latest game from Gary Partis, author of such notables as POSITRON, PSYCASTRIA and the vast DR WHO AND THE MINES OF TERROR on the BBC Micro. The title is perhaps more suited to an adventure, though I assume it derives from the reggae group Spear of Destiny.
The idea of the game is simple: Guide a bouncing ball through 60-odd levels of a 3D obstacle course within the allotted time limit. Control is also relatively simple - left, right, accelerate, decelerate and jump/bounce. The action takes place on a five-lane roadway made up of a number of multicoloured tiles, each of which has a different function.
White squares give bonus points, purple ones make you bounce. Green tiles increase your speed but red bring you to a virtual standstill. Beware the cyan tiles - right becomes left, accelerating slows you down and you're soon totally lost.
Owners of the Spectrum, Atari or Amstrad CPC will notice many similarities with TRAILBLAZER from Gremlin Graphics. SPHERE OF DESTINY is a perfect example of the way delicate little refinements can give a game that subtle feel of something really special.
From the rolling demo to the clicking on and off of the keyboard LED as an invitation to enter your name in the high score table, SPHERE bombards you with special effects.
The game features some of the most advanced programming techniques seen on the Electron. Unfortunately I found SPHERE, like Gary's other recent games, much too difficult.
This is a great pity as he's remarkably good at finding that elusive addictive quality. I still regularly go back to PSYCASTRIA but I have rarely completed the first stage. Perhaps Gary should release his games before he's had a chance to get too good at them - it might give us mere mortals a chance!
I found it particularly ironic that the highly amusing scrolling text featured a message of thanks to someone who had helped make the game "more playable". I only made it to level three a couple of times in a few hundred attempts.
SPHERE OF DESTINY is driving me nuts, but I'm sure it'll still be driving me nuts in a year's time.
Sound ........................... 6
Graphics ....................... 10
Playability ..................... 8
Value for money ................ 10
Overall ......................... 9
Chris Murphy, ELECTRON USER 4. 8