Four Indoor Sports are compiled in this entry to DesignStar's SportTime line of recreations. Ten-Pin Bowling, Air Hockey, Darts and (except on the Commodore 64) Ping Pong are featured. The menus and options screens have the same feel as Clubhouse Sports. Each game has computer opponents at multiple skill levels plus human-versus-human and demo modes, and matches can consist of varying numbers of rounds, with other options depending on the game.
Ten-pin bowling is played from a side-on view, although once the shot has been taken you see the results unfold from the bowler's view. There are three stages to taking a shot. Move the player up and down to line up his run-up, pressing fire to set the position. Then, do the same to set the angle of the shot. Finally, after pressing fire to start the run-up, press it again to time the release of the ball, as close to the line as possible.
Darts has 4 skill and 3 speed levels, and players can play to 301, 501 or 701, to vary game length or provide a handicapping system. You can also set whether scoring must start or end with a double. Viewed from behind the board, you must first line up the dart, then set the dart's curvature and power by stopping a curved gauge on the right, then a rising power bar on the left. The view then changes twice - first a behind-the-player view to show the dart's approach, then a close-up of the board to show where it landed.
Air Hockey plays for five minutes, or until someone has scored 12 points. The view is above the pitch but angled so as to emphasize the goal at the top.
Ping-Pong features a handicapping system - six ability areas can be graded from 1-5, to ensure a closely-matched game. Again the view is from behind one court. To impart direction onto a shot, the angle must be pressed at the same time as the fire button.
Indoor Sports were made in 1988, by a company called SportTime. And what's so great about this game? It offers you 4 different games to play within a single game. Yes, you can play Bowling, Darts, Air Hockey, and Ping Pong. They are all fun games to play. You can play alone or with a friend, and all games have different skill levels: Beginner, Average, Competitor and Superstars. The graphics can be either EGA or CGA.
But let's talk about the games:
Bowling: You can play alone or with a friend, you can play only one round or the maximum of three rounds with each having 10 tries, and the objective is to finish with the most points possible (each pin down is a point).
Darts: Here you have 3 different games, 301, 501, 701, and to win you have to come to 0 first. This game is a little more difficult because you have to control the speed and the height at which you throw the dart.
Air Hockey: This is easy, don' let the disc enter in your hole and try to score a goal.
Ping Pong: I advise you to play this game with the auto move, because if not you will not catch any of the balls and return the service of your opponent, and at least the first time put the game speed at the beginner level.
Another good point of this game is you can play with the Keyboard and Joystick (I didn't try this one out, because I don't have one, but the game has the option), but if you play with the keyboard, you can change the keys.
To conclude, I give these game 4 stars, because of the sub-games, the style of the game and its controls that can be changed.
Indoor Sports is an excellent collection of 4 indoor sports games designed by SuperStar Ice Hockey designer Ed Ringler, all of which are a lot of fun to play. The games included are Bowling, Darts, Air Hockey, or Ping Pong. You can play any game against a friend or the computer. You have the option of setting the difficulty for the computer opponents, but obviously playing against a human opponent is better :) The graphics and sounds are great for 1988, and the games not only play well but are also reasonably realistic; for example, the puck in Air Hockey speeds up or slows down depending on the force you apply to the shot, and bounces off the edges in a convincing manner. There are options to set up the number of matches to play, so you can simulate an indoor tournament, as well as a plethora of options for each sport. Overall, this is a very solid package that is hard to find fault with.
People who downloaded Indoor Sports Volume 1 have also downloaded:
Hardball III, Hardball IV, Kingpin: Arcade Sports Bowling, Game, Net & Match!, Hardball V Enhanced (a.k.a. Hardball 5 Enhanced), Archer Maclean's Pool (a.k.a. Pool Shark), Inanimate Racer, British Open Championship Golf
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