Saturday, 24 October 2015

Super Glove Ball (NES review)

Developer: Rare
Publisher: Mattel
Released: 1990

Super Glove Ball is a 3D version of Breakout (1976, Arcades) and one of only two officially released games to support the Power Glove.


You control a glove and your mission is to find a way out of the space maze by destroying blocks with floating balls. Certain blocks unlock exits that lead you to other rooms with different enemies and obstacles such as pool pits and steam tunnels. To find these you use the glove to bounce balls onto the walls or hit them with your limited supply of bullets. The ? icons house useful power-ups where you can top-up your ammo or gain items such as Triple Balls and Bombs. If set up correctly the Power Glove is surprising accurate; your movements are mimicked incredibly well and actions such as grabbing the ball are more intuitive as you simply close your fist. There's also an exclusive move if you wear the Glove where you can curve the ball by twisting your hand; again it works perfectly and makes placing your shots a bit easier. However, having to press the face buttons at the same time can be tricky as you need to take your eyes off the screen; luckily the game also supports the regular controller and it works just as well. Providing you have enough bullets clearing an entire room of blocks isn't too difficult and it's mildly entertaining. If you run out and have to rely on your glove to attack it takes forever and gets boring. The gameplay is highly repetitive with nothing to break up the action and despite its simple premise it's difficult to play as there's only one correct route through the game and no map screen; therefore, unless you sketch out your progress you'll be wandering around aimlessly. The 3D graphics are excellent though and the shadows make it easy to know where your glove and ball are.

Super Glove Ball is an interesting concept but despite the innovative and well thought-out control scheme the gameplay falls flat. It's perhaps a bit too ambitious and unless you're a patient gamer the whole maze aspect becomes far too tedious after a while.



Random trivia: The other NES game that officially supported the Power Glove was Bad Street Brawler (1987).

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