Written by Jonathan Cartwright
Music by George Cartwright
Screens by Keith Stuart

Firstly let me tell you that some of the reviews of Utopia that I received narrowly missed out on winning the BOOKER PRIZE for fiction. As everyone was so disturbed by my instructions for the aforementioned game I have this time decided that you are going to get value for money. Thus the following instructions will tell you nearly everything that you could possibly want, or need to know about Impossiball!

I decided against having these instructions printed on Filofax compatible paper as I don't think many of you have them, I certainly don't at any rate! It was my wish for these instructions to be given to you in a leather bound book so that it could look impressive on your book case. Alas, this option proved too expensive. It would appear that the Dragon owning public are adverse to the idea of paying £20ish for a game, despite leather trimmings. Thus they come to you on plain white paper, not my choice I must admit, but then economies must be made, after all I've got to eat!

Enough waffle, now on with the game. You people out there who have the disk version in your hot little hands should insert it into Drive 1 and type BOOT. The rest of you will, naturally enough have the cassette version (the demand for optical disk versions has declined drastically over the past year). Cassette versions can be used by typing CLOADM:EXEC.

As the title would suggest, you are a ball. Mathematically speaking you are a sphere (despite PMODE3 graphics). The idea of the game is to navigate yourself through 10 different levels of tiles. (At this point the average Dragon User has thrown away the instructions and started playing the game, and then sent me letters about inadequate instructions.) Anyway, the screens are made up of different coloured tiles. Obviously these have different attributes. For once I'm going to be nice and let you know what each different tile does.

These tiles are not really tiles at all. They are, in fact, holes. As you might imagine these no not do you any good at all.

Sticky dudes these. Well they must be, they make you go slow. You simply CANNOT travel fast on them.
These do not do very much for you I'm afraid. However you can travel either fast or slow when you're on them, so I suppose they have their uses.
On these tiles you can ONLY travel fast. Guesses as to WHY include them being covered in water or invisible banana skins to make you slip. Regardless of any speculation they do make you go fast, and that's what counts.
Yellow tiles make you jump, whether you like it or not.

There you go, a complete list of what each tile does to help or hinder you. Complain about that one!

Holes are pretty deadly. However, as if by magic, you may fall down up to five per course. This is because, gentle reader, that you have five lives, unlike cats which have nine. The number of lives you have is displayed as a number of lines under your score.

You now know that yellow tiles make you jump. In addition to this you can also jump whenever you want to. This is done by depressing the fire-button on your joystick (pressing your finger on a joss-stick could result in injuries for which the author cannot be held responsible, try and get it right). All good things come to an end which is why you only have five jumps per course. The number of jumps you have is shown as a single digit on the right hand side of the screen.

Near to the number of jumps that you have left is a three digit number; when you're not actually playing the game this is 000. Hands up all of you that thought that it was my bank balance. When you do actually play the game this number starts at 999 and decreases rather rapidly (the decreasing is another similarity to my bank balance). If this reaches 000 then you are dead and the game will end. However, if you reach the end of the level without being killed then you get a BONUS, its size depending upon how large the 3 digit number is. As even the reviewers will have guessed by now, the three digit number is, of course, a TIMER.

As well as getting a bonus for how much time you have left you also get a bonus for each life or jump that you have at the end of the screen. Amazingly, there is one further way of gleaning a score. This is simply by moving. If the ball moves fast then you get more points than if it is moving slowly. Consequently the idea is try to go fast at all times. If you have actually read the instructions above then you'll know that this is a near impossibility due to the different types of tiles.

There should be one more digit on the screen that I haven't talked about. This simply tells you which level you are on. It is, of course, on the left hand edge of the screen. This means that you can gloat to your friends about which level you can get to.

As with all my games I haven't told you absolutely everything, although very nearly. This is so that you can find out things for yourself, by trial and error. Some of you seem to object to this idea but I'm afraid you're going to have to put up with it.

The thing you must find out in this game is how to control the ball. I know this is going to be a bit of a strain, so I'm going to give you a subtle clue: you use a joystick, but not the left one. Even the reviewers should be able to manage that one without help! As mentioned earlier the ball can move fast or slow. Once again you're going to have to stretch your intellect and work out which way to push the joystick in each case. Now I don't think that I'm asking too much of you, but there will doubtless be one or two who will complain…

When I was at school I was not very good at Physics. This is why Impossiball! breaks a few of the fundamental laws of physics. For a start the ball is in perpetual motion, which makes a nonsense of the whole idea of friction. Also it can speed up and slow down at will (this fuels rumours that a 16 valve engine has been forced somewhere unspeakably appropriate). Thus the 4 equations of motion are brushed aside.

If you are about to play this game on a monochrome television or monitor then I'm afraid I must call you a pratt! This is because this game is for COLOUR SYSTEMS ONLY, as is stated on the magnetic media that you are now handling, and also in the adverts and on leaflets, etc. DO NOT ring me up and complain as it's not my fault is it?

If you've read this far, and let's face it why should you, then I must say thank you. Firstly thank you for buying this game, and secondly thank you for reading all these instructions, it takes ages to write all this stuff so I'm well chuffed if you read it.

Finally, if you didn't actually buy this game and are using a *borrowed* or *back up* copy then you are ripping me off! I work hard for my royalties and I think I deserve every penny of them. I'd also ask you to bear in mind that if sales of this game don't get into 3 figures then you won't be getting another one from me. Okay?

Now you can go and play the game.

Dragon 32/64

To load, type "CLOADM:EXEC".