Knockout 2

Knockout 2 Review

The eight cars take stage at the beginning of the round
And usually head straight for the center of the ring
As the ring gets smaller, more and more cars drop off the edge
It's unusal for there to be this many cars still around when the ring is this small!
Once all the other cars have fallen off, you need to negotiate the red carpet. Falling off here can be VERY embarrasing!
And after the even you are given a running total of victories, before it all starts over again
nearly good OXXXXXXreally good

Really Good

-Up to 8 players can theoretically play
-Computer controlled cars can substitute if you don't have 7 real friends
-Really great fun
-Free

Not So Good

-Only six players can play without a real amiga & custom hardware
-Not much fun as a single player game
Summary

Up to eight players around a single computer can go head to head to knock each other out of the ring in this fiendishly fun and highly addictive little game.


The Amiga had some truly great games, and some of the best of these were free - created by enthusiasts in their spare time. Knockout 2 is one such game. Created by a Mr Ben Wyatt, the unique point about this game was that it allowed up to 8 players to play around one computer. If you wanted to take advantage of the full quota of human players, however, you had to build your own custom hardware to connect 2 additional joysticks to the Amiga's printer port. The other 6 players could, happily, be shared between the Amiga's two joystick ports, and cramming another 4 around the keyboard. This might seem uncomfortable, but as only three keys are needed per participant, it's certainly not as awkward as it sounds. Although I haven't yet had the opportunity to test a tournament at full capacity, I've certainly had no problem fitting three people around a keyboard for a 5-player session!

Once you've found your friends and loaded the game up, you are presented with a number of options. You can choose from alternative game modes such as team, elastic, ball and magnetic. Elastic can provide an interesting additional element, where 2 cars are connected across the ring by a chord and thus their movement is affected by the movement of the car they are connected to. Ball is the only mode where game play is drastically altered, whereby players have to try and get a ball into their own coloured goal, but it's really not much fun.

Once you've selected your mode of play you can change the amount of friction in the ring, the amount of wins needed by any one player before the tournament ends, configure some sound options, and set the controls of each player. By default any vehicle which isn't assigned a control will be piloted by the computer, but if you wish you can turn the vehicle off completely.

In all modes other than ball, the idea is very simple: survival. As soon as the game starts the ring begins decreasing in size and your job is to be the last car left standing. You can accomplish this by attempting to stay right in the middle, or you might want to go for the aggressive route and try and knock as many of the other cars out of the ring as possible. Whatever stance you take, there's going to be up to 7 other drivers all trying to play the survival game along side you!

If you are successful in your bid to become the last player standing then a red carpet is rolled out and you need to negotiate your way across the carpet and off the screen - this might sound easy and indeed it should be - but more than once have I heard a yelp as somebody about to claim their first win slides off at this vital moment, throwing all their hard work away!






Conclusion

This game is one of my all time favourites and would get a lot more play time if only Amiga emulation wasn't such a pain to set up.