Madballs by Ocean


madballsgamePublisher: Ocean
Developer: Denton Designs
Release Date: 1986
Code: D.C. Ward
GFX: Unknown
Music: Fred Gray
ZZAP64 Game Rating: 40%
Our Game Rating: 69%
Completed & Reviewed by Neil Collins

> CLICK HERE to Download emu file
> CLICK HERE to view the YouTube ending video
Madballs by Ocean did actually start to drive me mad for a while. I played it a few times and just bounced around, hoping to make some sense of it, but I seemed to get nowhere fast…
The game is based around a kids toy that was popular in the eighties and nineties. They were weird little spherical creatures that looked pretty gross. The game features many of the different characters and the aim is to locate eight specific Madballs. Once found you must bump them off the platforms that force them to join your party. Once all eight have joined your strong party you will convince the Madball World to make you leader of the planet Orb. It’s a little bit like Bounder, in the sense that the game is played from overhead and you are continually bouncing around. You have to remain on a solid platform or you die, which wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for the hordes of Madballs  that chase you around and try to bump you off. Graphically it’s ok, but the sprites are quite messy. All the levels look pretty much the same making navigation between levels quite confusing.
It’s fun for a short time and once I had worked out what to do and where I was going I enjoyed it far more than my initial experiences of this game. Worth a look if you enjoy the Bounder games…
madballs-1
The final level is complete…
madballs-2
…and the screen clears…
madballs-3
…and…
madballs-4
…the final message appears. The End.
HOW WAS IT COMPLETED?: I used an infinite lives cheat.
SO WHAT HAPPENS?: I quickly knocked 7 Madballs off the platforms but couldn’t find the last one for a while. I eventually tracked him down and bumped him off and into my party. A message appeared in orange writing in the centre of the screen which read ‘CONGRATULATIONS YOU HAVE WON!’. The game then restarted.
COMMENTS:
Neil: One of the poorest endings I’ve seen for a while. The programmer needs a good hard slap across the face for this. Preferably with a cricket bat. 1/10.
Vinny: Okay – so I have two strange memories of this game, and none of them actually involve playing it. Firstly, back in the early nineties my first fiancée and I went out shopping one Saturday to Bedford and I found a computer game shop that was piled high with cheap Commodore 64 titles that were going for next to nothing. I decided to buy a bucket load of them and one of them was Madballs. Strange thing was, I never got to load it. I don’t know why, but I just left it in the box and didn’t bother with it. Maybe the ZZAP!64 score of 40% put me off.
The second memory involved a prize I won in a competition. One morning before work I opened my mail to find that I had won a prize: a Madball! I don’t ever remember entering a competition with such a prize, but I won it anyway. It was quite a cool prize because the Madball had a body part in its mouth, and if you squeezed it hard enough the body part would shoot out at a tremendous speed. It was quite lethal.
As for the ending… I expected so much more 😦 At least a nice animation and a cool Fred Gray ending tune. 1/10 from me too.
Andrew Fisher: This is an oddball game and a strange subject to license. I never really enjoyed it during my brief attempts to play it. The ending sums up a lack of attention that the whole game got.
Andy Vasiey: The ending on Madballs is utter balls.
Gaz Spence:  Firstly hats off to Neil for working out what to do in the game. I tried it myself but couldn’t make any headway. I remember the Madballs craze vaguely – I guess some geeks somewhere probably still collect them. A pity that the ending isn’t ‘mad’.
Brendan Phoenix: I attempted to play this as well, it’s certainly no Bounder.
A strange licence choice, which would be forgiven if the game was playable or at least ok-ish. However it’s neither.
FINAL SAY: If only politics was this much fun!

G.E. RATING: 1 / 10

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