8-Bit Software Online Conversion

8BS Games Review Title: Master Break Written By: Superior Software Sold By: ProAction Game: Trivia Quiz, based on a Snooker-style set of rules. Reviewing this game was a bit fortunate really, I had only just managed to get the Cassette filing system working again on my old Beeb, when the review was sent to me, so it was touch and go whether this one would load, but in good old Acorn BBC fashion, it loaded perfectly first time, although the batteries on the Walkman loading it did run out halfway through! Upon the usual quick (compared to other old micros) loading of the game, I was presented with some fairly primitive graphics, just some pictures of the red snooker balls in their triangle formation, and some other info, such as my Break, and what I needed to advance in the world rankings, a break of about 20 is required to get to 8th Rank, as far as I have managed to get! Well, you don't know how it works yet, do you? Well let me explain! You accumulate your 'break' by answering questions on different subjects. First, you get an easy (supposedly) red ball question, if this is answered correctly, from either a selection of four or three possibilities, then you pot the red, and move onto a coloured ball question. You can select which colour you want to try and go for (they increase in difficulty as you go through the range from yellow to black), a black ball question is worth 7 break points, but you get much less time to answer it than if you select a yellow ball question. If you pot this ball, then you go on to get another red ball question, where you cannot choose which subject you get, it is random. Different balls have different topics assigned to them (they are mixed around every question) so you can have a black ball question on Science (& Nature), Leisure (Sport & Pastimes), History, Geography, Pop Music, or the Arts. In my experience, the way to play is to go for the low points on subjects which you don't know, and high points on subjects that you are good at. The game has a wide range of questions, with 26 different 'frames' (sets) of questions. The annoying thing about that is that you have to load a new set of questions from the tape after a few goes, which kind of interrupts the game. Also, another bad thing is that if you get just one question wrong, the game is over in one player mode! This can be extremely frustrating, especially for thick kids like me who can only get a maximum break of 20! There are a lot of questions asked on the game, and they vary a lot, from easy to hard, but mainly hard for me! The trouble is, on 2 player mode, a lot of questions get repeated, so it is really a case of looking at the questions and sussing out which options have already been chosen, then you just choose the remaining one which must be right, which kind of negates the idea of knowing a lot of trivia! As I mentioned earlier, graphics on this game are not exactly extravagant, in fact they are very minimal, but quite quiz-like, this is not really a game which would rely on graphics, more on gameplay and depth of questions. Luckily then, this game has got a lot of good gameplay and an EXTREMELY good depth of questions, you can spend hours working your way through the game on 1 player mode, trying to get to number 1 in the world, but why do that, when you can invite a couple of mates over and have a laugh at each others incompetence! Yes, this is really a game for 2 or more, great at parties (depending what sort of parties you have) and good fun for those cold winter nights when Christmas is approaching and you just want to relax away from School/University/Work/Prison! Sound is probably the worst aspect of the game, it really is appalling, it is hardly used throughout the game, only for the sounds of the clock ticking down, and a little noise if the question is right or wrong. A nice quiz-like score would have been excellent for this game, to make the answering more intense, or some opening snooker-like music, "The Entertainer", maybe? I think this is a great slant on the whole Pub Trivia Game sort of thing, and much better than stuffing 50p's into a machine at the local pub, its just a shame more pubs don't have BBC micros in them! If you're looking for a great game for playing with friends, or boosting your ego, then this is it, great gameplay, and brilliant value for money! Just one thing, don't buy it on tape! Overall score: 83%