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"Crystball" (Supervision)

One of the first Supervision games reviewed here. While it's another block-breaking game, á la AlleyWay/Arkanoid, its wonky controls will turn off a lot of gamers.

Yet another Arkanoid-like clone for the Supervision, making this a very basic game. However, like any game dismissed as "easy," there are some challenges and it's frustrating enough to where you'll want to turn the game off and play something else.

Looking at the reviews all throughout, NONE have been presented on the Supervision TV Link. With that, we present you the very first review and presentation of the game via the TV Link exclusive here at our SHOWSOTROS website!

The game starts as normal and you can choose a difficulty setting: Beginner, Average and Expert. There isn't much in terms of difference between the difficulty. The only thing I noticed is the speed of the ball being paddled back and forth, but other than that, there's not much difference.

While the music is your typical chiptune arrangement, it's very forgettable and repetitive. The tunes strike your eardrums so hard you're thankful that your TV has a MUTE button, or at least be able to turn down the volume. There is a soundtrack that plays when the ball is still on the paddle, and another soundtrack that plays during your gameplay. Having variety is good, but it still hurts my ears.

Graphics are a jumbled mess. Playing on the Supervision itself, it's quite good, although the handheld doesn't render motion very well causing "motion blur." The graphics on the TV link make it easy on your eyes but the gradients and the colors are all over the place. Just look:

Graphics of Crystball via Supervision TV Link

As you plow through the levels, you'll notice there are enemies on the game which is quite unique. However, what frustrates me is that some of those enemies COULD NOT be killed. When the ball hits them, they either re-spawn or it deflects off of them. Worse, these enemies get casted if you hit a specific block and if you constantly hit that block, more enemies come out making the game crazy tough (however, the most a special block can spawn is two enemies).

The controls are okay but feel sticky. The paddle and the ball seem to move frame by frame, looking choppy. Once the ball picks up in speed, the paddle then looks and moves smoother. Besides that, it's okay as it could've been much better.

The highest level I reached was Level 20 (yeah, I have no life, but I did it for the review and for you—the fans). The game gets ridiculously hard so I'm not clear how many levels there are, nor do I know if there's some sort of ending on the game. When you lose, you have the option to continue and redo the level you lost in which is pretty good. However, if you lose constantly, using up to 5 extra continues, you go back and start at the beginning. The thing that bothered me is that the more you use the TV Link to play a game like this, the video signal deteriorates causing video "snow" on the screen due to excessive, long gameplay. That's not really the fault of the game but this Supervision TV Link doesn't seem to be fit for long-term gaming. That may explain why I couldn't progress further, and losing several times didn't help either.

Being that it's a simple, casual game, there are better options out there. It does present some decent challenges but despite the sticky controls, it's tough to get far on this game. Since I reached Level 20, it's only a matter of time that someone beats the game entirely. Any takers?





  • Playable and compatible with the TV-Link add-on.
  • Classic block-breaking madness.
  • Presents some challenges unique to this game.
  • Controls are terrible.
  • Graphics are muffled up, and the music isn't ear-friendly.
  • Game suffers from occasional glitches (may not show up, if played via emulation)
  • Is there an ending?
60% (D-)
Fan Rating
Game Title Crystball
Description ????
ISBN / Bar Code number ????
Video Format 1.33:1 (4:3) / Full Screen
Audio Format Mono (Stereo via Supervision TV Link)
Disk/Cartridge Count One (1)
Language(s) English
Genre Action, Puzzle
Rated ????
Region NTSC, PAL
Specification Monochrome (Color via Supervision TV Link)
Licensed by Watara
Developer Bon Treasure Co., Ltd. / Watara
Item Number ????
Released 1992 (US)
Copyright --
Other Formats --
Quoted Reviews --
Other Crystball was released and included with the Supervision as a pack-in game.


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