Powerplay Hockey
Copyright/Publisher: Electronic Arts, Created By: Dennis Kirsch & Mark Madland,
Music By: Rob Hubbard, Release Year: 1988, Genre: Ice Hockey, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

Get into your helmets and shinpads, peeps, 'cos a match that's gonna give a whole new meaning to the cold war is about to begin. Yup, the US of A and the USSR are about to take on one another on in the ice hockey challenge of the year. Da-daaa...

Hold it! Don't start trying to bully off right away. Pick the number of players, team size (one-on-one or five-on-five) and the length of match first. Ready?

Right then - you're on a horizontally scrolling rink, you can try wrist shots, slap shots, faceoff, drop passing, body and poke (oo-er) checking. There are penalties for roughing and crosschecking, icing and offsides.

In the five-a-side game, you have the chance to switch between three different teams of players (with different strengths and weaknesses) at any time. You always control either the goalkeeper or one other player.

Got that? Right then, get mean, get lean, get out there and GET GOING.

Gordon Houghton
I'm far too bulky to be an ice hockey player myself, but I'm not averse to a bit of puck and bully in comfortable armchair mode. Anyway, I think I would have enjoyed this a lot more if the control method had been slightly more versatile.

Most decent team sports sims let you switch control between the different players - I can't really see why you should leave that out of an ice hockey sim. It's not that easy to get to grips with the shooting controls either - dead annoying when you've got a computer opponent really into scoring goals. Only for really dedicated sport fans who shout 'ugga ugga' a lot.

Am I the world's greatest ice hockey fan? Er... well no, but then this isn't exactly the world's greatest ice hockey sim - it's just average, really.

Whaddya mean, you're all going to shout, aren't there loads of options? Well yeah, there are loads of options but what really counts is the gameplay - and that's not so hot when you can't switch players, when some of the passing and shooting controls are far too awkward and you move a tad-ette too slowly around the screen.

Still, if you're getting this for the two-player game you might squeeze a bit of fun out of it - just not as much fun as you might have had. Aaah, what a shame!


Two-player game, three difficulty levels, two different game options, period stats screen and Gorbachev (?) poster.
Fairly well-defined sprites skate around a slightly jerkily scrolling rink.
Simple, puck, puck sound effects and the odd victory jingle.
Awkward controls are more than likely to put you off.
Once you get the hang of it, you might find a bit more to enjoy, particularly in two-player mode.
A well-presented but technically limited ice hockey sim.