Originally developed for the Commodore 64, Superstar Ice Hockey is essentially a poor man's Blades of Steel- which by all accounts was one of the best hockey titles on the NES. This title, however, lacks the depth that Blades of Steel carried with it, including the teams, logos, and player likenesses. What it lacks in depth, however, it makes up for in ease of use. You can jump right in and score some pretty sweet snapshots and wristers. It's a fun game to pass the time while you're sitting at work, or when you're constantly on the go.
Some really cool features of this game include the ability to create and name your own team, draft and develop players, and run through an excessive playoff run for the championship. In Superstar Ice Hockey you control one of 20 NHL teams from 4 divisions. Upon the completion of the regular season, the best 2 teams from each group are qualified for the playoffs. A unique component of this game is the fact that you can only control the center or goalie for each team. Controls for either player are very simplistic, you just skate around the rink with the keypad (in the case of the center) or you move up and down the crease of the goal with the goalie.
The wingers and defensemen
are controlled by the CPU and for the most part, their AI is pretty good.
The game does include a very simple multiplayer mode that allows two players to play friendlies (not playoff or tournament games) against one another. You can play against the computer or another opponent, or play 2 against the computer. Game modes include 2-on-2 hockey, 4-on-4, or 6-on-6 (regulation hockey). The season mode is actually more complex than you would expect, and features a fairly in-depth textual design that allows you to customize lines for your team, and pick up and move players.
Although this title is far from the NHL games we experience today, at the time it encapsulated the game to the best of its potential. This title was created before there were mega-companies, such as EA, 2K Sports, and even Konami involved in the genre. It pioneered one of the greatest lines of sports games and enchanted many gamers in the early Commodore and Atari age for years.