Virgin Mastertronic

■ Sega ■ £24.99

You're such a mega basketball fan you even dream about the sport, eat, drink and sleep it. You can't resist a dribble and a bounce (way-hey!). You've become the captain of the Hometown High team and steered them to the finals of the All-American High School Championship. But now your obsession has come back to haunt you — literally. On the night before the big day, your basketball dreams become a nightmare.

It's only in a one player game where its a nightmare, with six levels and pitches for the six supernatural teams: the Blue Wolf men, River Turtles, little Cyclopses, Blood-Suckers (vampires, not tax inspectors). Witches of Northwick (does Mr Nicholson know?) and the Tengun Terrors (blatant dig at Atari Games). In a two-player game, each person choose a team from eight nationalities.

This may be a nightmare but it uses the same cute little characters so prevalent in console games; it's more of a sweet dream than a terrible nightmare. What is terrible is the sprite flicker of the small but pleasantly formed basketballers. Backgrounds are dreary and although the close-ups of basket shots have impressively large characters, flicker strikes again.

Though there have been countless numbers of them, team games rarely generate any real sense of fun or involvement. Basketball Nightmare tries to boost its average payability with the old unusual scenario/feature/graphics ploy but the visuals are so plain that it just doesn't work.


Machine rating: 61%

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