Wizball is a computer game written by Jon Hare and Chris Yates (who together formed the company Sensible Software) and released in 1987 for the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC. Versions for the Amiga, Atari ST and PC were also released. The music in the Commodore 64 version was composed by Martin Galway.
Wizball's more comical sequel, Wizkid, was released in the early 1990s for the Amiga, Atari ST and IBM PC.
The theme of Wizball is unique. It is a horizontally-scrolling game, which involves navigating around a landscape and shooting at sprites. However, the aim of the game is to collect droplets of coloured paint to colour the level. Each level starts off as monochromatic, drawn in three shades of grey, and needs three colours to be collected to complete it. The player, a wizard who has taken the form of a green ball, has access to three levels at a time, and can navigate between them through portals. Each level has droplets of a different primary colour which may be collected. At the same time, each level needs a different colour to be added, which can be composed by collecting sufficient quantities of the correct primary colours.
The wizard himself is not capable of collecting paint droplets, and is initially capable of very limited movement, bouncing up and down at a fixed rate, with the player only controlling a speed of rotation, and thus how fast it will move horizontally after next touching the ground. Collecting green pearls (which appear when some sprites have been shot) gives the player tokens which can be used to "buy" enhancements, such as greater control over movement and improved firepower, and also a companion known as Catellite. Catellite (effectively the wizard's cat) is also spherical in form. It normally follows the wizard, but it can also be moved independently by holding down the fire button whilst moving the joystick (which also renders the wizard uncontrollable). Only Catellite is capable of collecting paint droplets; the player has to use it to do so. In the two-player mode, Catellite is controlled by the second player. As well as droplets of primary colours, sometimes droplets of other colours also appear, having various effects. These include:
* Light blue - causes a "filth raid", where a wave of fast-moving enemies appear, shooting bullets at the player.
* Grey - changes Catellite into an "Indestructacat", making it invulnerable to enemies.
* White - gives an extra life.
* Purple - changes Catellite into a "mutant cat", causing it to disobey the player's controls.
* Black - causes "freaky bits", turning most of the scenery black.
Source: Wikipedia, "Wizball", available under the CC-BY-SA License.
Back cover of Amiga game box
For many years, Wiz and his feline friend Catelite have lived happily in the colourful land of Wizworld. However, an evil force called Zark has moved in with his horrible sprites. Zark is determined to turn the colourful land dull and grey once and for all. Your aim is to aid Catelite in restoring these original colours by shooting RED, BLUE and GREEN coulour bubbles and collecting the valuable chemicals as they burst. But watch out! Zark is constantly on your heels to kill you off. There are hidden features that Wizball and Catelite can use to prolong their existence. Wizball is a fast-paced game that will transport you to an exciting world of fun, fear and fantasmagoria.