2, by Infinite
Reviewed August 2002
If you think NFL football is fun, you are
about to find what would really be fun in a football game.
I remember I was watching a comedy routine by George Carlin.
He said if you really want to have fun sports, you place
landmines in baseball field and give gauntlets to football
players. Putting gauntlets on football players’ arms
is exactly what you get in Speedball 2! Converted from The
Bitmap Brothers’ hit to the Pocket PC by Broadsword
Interactive and published by Infinite Ventures, Speedball
2 will make you forget the Madden NFL series!
Speedball is a futuristic ball game that
combines the rules of football, soccer and hockey. The game
is played in a metal pitch with 9 players on each team. You
get to use your hands to pass the ball or bounce it off the
walls and bounce domes, and you have a goalie. You can pick
up gauntlets and other power ups so that you can win the
slug fight and gain possession of the ball. You are the Brutal
Deluxe! The linemen here don’t have extra carbohydrates
stacked up in their reserve, what you do have is the metal
pieces chipped off the defender’s arms when the players
The history of the game is also interesting.
In the year of 2095, corruption and violence force the game
underground. Unregulated and ungoverned, the game degenerates
into a fiasco. In 2100, attempting to regain public interest,
Speedball 2 is born. In 2105, a new team emerges, and it’s
called Brutal Deluxe.
There are 3 modes you can play the game
in: Knockout, Cup and League. In Knockout game mode, you
will play a number of increasingly tougher opponents. There
are no trades or team manager, only the gym screen so that
you can improve your team’s attributes. In the Cup
game format, the teams are paired up and play two legs in
each round. The team with the most points wins the Speedball
Cup Championship. In the League game, you are in one of the
two divisions and play a 14-week season. In this mode, you
can have a team manager and will achieve higher positions
in the league by winning more games than losing.
There are a few essential screens you need
to get familiar with before getting serious. The Gym Screen
allows you to improve the attributes of your team. When you
pick up armor power ups and other tokens in the game, your
attributes will temporarily increase. But only after you’ve
worked in the Gym will the attribute increase be permanent.
You can study the strengths and weaknesses of your next opponents,
and shape your team up accordingly. The Management Screen
is the main starting point for Cup and League games. You
can access every player’s stats from this screen to
make decisions on substitutions or set up players’ positions,
along with shortcut keys that can take you to the Trade Screen,
Save or league draw and much more. The Trading Screen will
become active when there is a star player on the market.
The star players will only be on the market temporarily and
are usually better than the players on your team.
The graphics showcase some cool futuristic
arena settings, the metal walls, the gold color tokens, the
warp holes, and the electro bounce holes, etc. and some really
nice still graphic works throughout the grueling game and
metallic interface. The game plays in a top view with smooth
controls. You can use either the hardware buttons or stylus
and hardware buttons combined. There is a virtual D-pad on
the in-game screen if you don’t want to use the D-pad
on your PDA. Mastering the controls is not hard, though if
you haven’t improve your speed or picked up some power
ups, the movements of players will seem slow. The game offers
variety of audio and graphic options as well as 5 difficulty
The sound effects are cool to match the
visuals, and the music tracks are straight out of the movie
Triple X. The game supports both ARM and MIPS, and requires
2.4 MB of storage space.
While I thoroughly enjoy playing
the game and the experience of building a team, I did wonder:
where are the cheerleaders?
Playing Hints and Tips
Go through the Gym session, it will
pay in the long run. When there are players available on the
market, spend all your money on them. It’s worth it!
Read about the power ups in the help file before you pick them
up. Pay attention to the attributes of players when you manage
a team, when you work in the gym improve attributes with a