Fast Break

Fast Break is a Sports game, developed and published by Accolade, which was released in Europe in 1989.

Reputedly one of the greatest rivalries since the invention of the basketball itself, the Slammers and the Jammers are at it again. This time it’s two teams of six taking part in a three-on-three contest.

You compete with a friend or a computer opponent, and before the match starts a few tactical decisions have to be made: the length of the quarters (3 to 12 minutes) and exactly which members of the squad are going to play. A quick resume of each player’s strengths and weaknesses helps you decide.

The court is viewed as two awkward flick-screen halves. As a result any action in the centre of the court inevitably becomes confused. Ball moves include dribbling, passing, shooting and opportunities for calling offensive and defensive plays. There are two kinds of personal foul and no free throws. Unusually, you don’t automatically control the player nearest the ball; switching between players manually tends to slow the action down.

On paper it all sounds pretty sophisticated. On court, it’s a disappointment. The sprites are poorly defined and jerkily animated, play’s spoilt by the flick-screen action and there isn’t that much skill required. It only takes a couple of minutes to get used to the shooting controls and after that almost every basket you attempt goes in.

If you’ve always dreamed of hurling yourself up the court in a pair of Lycra shorts, dribble driving, no-look passing and slam-dunking your way into basketball history, keep on dreaming. Accolade has built up a reputation for producing top class sports Sims. This isn’t one of them.


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