Every five years the various races inhabiting the fantasy world of GHoLD meet for the Grand Monster Slam tournament to discover which is supreme. You must win a total of 9 matches to prove yourself, with two sub-games to negotiate (Revenge of the Beloms and Faulton Feeding - fortunately these can be practiced from the main menu) as well.
The basic game sees you and your opponent start with a row of six Beloms (small round creatures) which must be kicked across the pitch quickly enough to leave your opponent with all 12 at his end. When this happens you can run to his end to win. The main things to avoid during the match are being hit by a shot and kicking one into the crowd. When hit you lose time recovering, and are penalised with a Pelvan, which can cost you up to 3 Beloms, by hitting the crowd.
After every third match you must play the Faulton Feeding game, which involves aiming at six progressively-higher poles to hit the Faulton creature with the food - fail to get enough of these and you must replay the previous match. After other games you play the Revenge of the Beloms game, in which Beloms hurtle towards you and must be deflected away with your pole - failure to clear enough before one hits you reduces your score from the previous match.
Grand Monster Slam is a rather simple, but yet entertaining sports game. It has a quite original fantasy background and may be considered as predecessor of M.U.D.S., which was released one year later. The game's goal is easy: There are two players on the opposite sides of a field, who have to kick small furballs, called Beloms, to the other side. When one player has managed to kick all balls to the other side, he can start his homerun and has won the match. The player takes the role of a dwarven player and has to make his way through the three leagues of the Grand Monster Slam. Each league consists of eight players from various races, each race having different attributes, like strength, speed, etc. In order to win a match, you should try to knock your opponent down by hitting him with beloms.
Whenever you or your opponent kick a Belom out of the field's bounds, the other player has the opportunity of a penalty kick. A small, duck-like creature comes to the field and is kicked to the other side. The opponent has to catch this creature in order to prevent himself from getting some Beloms from the other side. There are three possible kicks, right, middle and left. The catcher may also decide to move to one of this directions or to stay in the middle. So you always have a chance of one out of three to catch the duck.
Besides the main game, there are two small challenges as interjections in the tournament. First, in the "Revenge of the Beloms" the player has to defend himself against these small furballs, he used to kick around a minute earlier. You get a stuffed paddle and have to push them back. The Beloms attack from eight directions, from whose you are able to defend six at one time. To defend the remaining two directions, you have to change your base position and turn around. This is rather easy, when you've trained a bit. The other game is called "Faulton Feeding" and is used to qualify you for the next round. Here you have to kick Beloms into the Faulton's mouths. Two hits are needed to be qualified for the second league, four hits for the third one. The matches in higher leagues become more difficult, as obstacles like a wall are set in the middle of the field. So you have to be careful, not to knock out yourself with Beloms bouncing back from the wall.
The game can either be controlled by keyboard or joystick. The keyboard controls are easy to understand. You may move to the left or right using the cursor keys and kick the Beloms with space as fire button. The longer you press fire, the higher your kick will be. If you press left or right while holding the fire-key the shot will be directed into this direction. I haven't tried the joystick controls, but they should work similar. In the "Revenge of the Beloms" holding space and pressing left/right will change your base position. Alltogether the controls are quite intuitive ans simple.
The game features EGA grafics and a horrible noise from your beeper, when on the title screen. Luckily this noise stops afterwards and the beeper keeps silent. This is the main flaw of the game, but not too bad, as the game is fun even without sounds.
All in all, this game is a really funny distraction, suitable for your coffee break or if you want to take your mind off your homework for a while. It has an interesting concept, but lacks some technical features like sounds or a mouse control, which were not too uncommon for the time it was released. Therefore it gets a moderate rating of three, which shouldn't prevent anyone from downloading it, however. Last but not least it is playable again and again without loosing its charme.
Grand Monster Slam is yet another fun game. You can choose between several different disciplines including games like a kind of soccer where you kick to small living balls. There are other things you can play.
In each discipline you can play in knockout mode and you can compete against several different opponents. Overall a pretty good game to waste some time with but nothing more than that.
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