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a game by Tengen, and Jaleco
Genre: Sports
Platforms: Sega GenesisGenesis, NESNES
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 10 reviews
User Rating: 6.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Sport Games, Sports Management Games, Football Video Games, Cyber Games

Sports fans, rejoice! The Sega Genesis finally has a football game! Well, sort of.

Cyberball, Atari Games' monster arcade hit, has been converted to the Sega Genesis, complete with the incredible graphics, sound effects, and metal-crunching action that made it one of the top coin-ops of 1989.

A Metal Monster Mash

Ok, so it isn't football as we know it -- Cyberball eliminates drawbacks like escalating player salaries and constant injuries by simply replacing humans with robots. What a concept!

Players still cost money, and more talented players cost more money. But these are fixed costs. There's no negotiating and certainly no need for lawyers and agents (Hooray!). The materials a player is "constructed" of and how fast he can move determine his cost. For example, a speedy plastic wide receiver might cost $45,000. If you want the same speedy receiver made of sturdier stuff (like titanium, for instance), it will run you $130,000.


  • If you play in League Mode, try to save your money for the championship game. When you buy players, they can only be used in the upcoming game. There are no carryover players.
  • The most money you can earn is $999,999. Once you reach that point, you will cease to gain money. So spend down a little late in the season -- you can usually gain the money hack.

The importance of buying quality players at the skill positions will become evident as you play. A plastic player can usually take five or six hits before he starts to smoke -- an indication that he's damaged. A damaged player can destruct on any tackle, and when he destructs, he fumbles the ball.

Full Metal Season

Cyberball has one- and two-player modes. One-player mode features a password system that enables you to play an entire 16-game season, plus an NFL-style playoff (two wildcard teams and eight playoff qualifiers), assuming your team is good enough to make it that far. The two-player mode is hard hitting head-to-head fare, a true test of your pigskin prowess.

One Hundred Yards To Paydirt

Cyberball follows the basics of regular football -- a team of players tries to move a ball up the field by passing it or carrying it. But there are some major differences. The ball isn't almond-shaped, and it isn't made of pigskin. It's metallic, like the players, and it gets hot!

Rather than having four downs to gain ten yards, you must move the metal ball over the fifty yard line to cool it down, then you must get it to the end-zone to cool it down again. If you take too long to gain the necessary yardage, the ball explodes! If one of your players is holding it at that time, you better get a dust broom to sweep up the remains!

Other differences include: six three-minute periods rather than four 15-minute quarters, earning money for crossing midfield on offense and scoring points, seven players per side and, of course, the all robot half time show.

Crash and Burn

Play selection breaks down into three categories. On offense, you can choose a play type -- a running play, a passing play, or an option play (run or pass).

Then you select a particular play from a choice of four. Each play is illustrated by an X's and O's type diagram. However, you do not have to follow plays exactly the way they're scripted. After all, there may be an opposing player waiting for you in the hole you're supposed to run through.

  • One of the most effective plays against the computer opponent is the "Alley Oop" pass play. This is a toss to the running back coming out of the back-field. The defenders usually concentrate on the wide receivers and ignore your running back.
  • When running the hall, try to think like a running, hack. Good running backs don't charge into the tacklers, they try to take them out. You have to do the same thing in Cyberball -- dodge, weave, and fake -- you'll be surprised at how much daylight you can find by pausing and taking.

On defense, choose a long, medium, or short defense, and then select the specific formation. Once your players line up, you can choose which player you control. On offense, you always start as the quarterback.

  • To avoid a computer opponent's blitz (which he usually tries on first down, that is, when the ball is cool), try the running play "Wide Angle". This play is an outside pitch to either the right or left running back -- both of whom are out of reach of the blitzers.
  • Your defense will be a killer if you buy the "Power Boost" for your Safety. Choose a long defensive formation, and select a "Nickel" set up. Now, control the left safety. When the hall is hiked, hit your turbo button and blast through your opponent's line. You'll get a lot of quarterback sacks, and the rest of your defense will be able to stop any play the computer should run -- just in case you don't tackle the quarterback.

Cyberball could very well be the future of football. There are no player strikes or injuries, although occasionally a few of your players may overheat and explode. In Cyberball you have to be a good coach -- and a good mechanic!

Download CyberBall


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Game modes: Single game mode

Player controls:

  • Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
  • Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
  • "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
  • "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
  • "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)

Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • P-200, 32 MB RAM

Game Reviews

Adapted from the arcade masterpiece, Cyberball is futuristic football set in the 21st century. Robot gladiators have replaced humans and while the goals of the game are the same, some new rules are added. Work your way through the championships against opposing teams. Collect money to replace worn out players or fix them up in the shop. Cyberball will be compatible with the Tele-Genesis modem.

People say:


Cyberball is fairly faithful to the coinop game on which it's based, but the controls do come off a bit sluggish. The field also looks slightly distorted, but the real joy of Cyberball, its game play remains. Better as a two-player, but O.K. otherwise.


A great football variation using robots to effectively replace humans. Good effects provide animation and, in the loose sense of the word, this game matches the arcade, delivers pseudo-football play and is very well done.


Cyberball is a good version of the arcade game, but it does control kind of sluggish on the Genesis. The strategy and interaction and there, but the game, like the controls, moves like the robots are on ice. A minor hard point, but decent.


I liked Cyberball a lot in the arcades and this version, while close, is not a carbon-copy. The graphics are toned done enough to make a difference in the visual appeal. The play is still very good, however, and the game gets high marks because of it.

One of the hottest and most original sports video games to hit the arcade in recent memory was Cyberball! From its futuristic slant, to the multiple play options, to the dual screen independant viewing for up to four competitors, Cyberball rocketed to the top of the charts. It was so successful, in fact, that it spawned a sequel called Tournament Cyberball as well as player leagues in arcades around the country!

Now all of the excitement of the coin-op has been packaged into a very impressive home version for the Sega Genesis! All the options you had in the arcade are here: you can choose the league that you wish to compete in, pick from dozens of different robotic teams, and even tailor your team members!

The game play pits you against a friend or the computer in a combative game of football that features robots instead of human participants. The general rules of football are intact: you must pass and run the ball around the opponent in an effort to reach the goal line. The similarities to the real sport end there, however, as machine meets machine on the grid iron. You get four chances to advance the ball (which doubles as a bomb!) to mid-field before it becomes critical and explodes one of your team members into the shop for repairs!

Cyberball is a very unusual football derivative that is ideal for the Genesis. Two versions of the game will be released: one for regular systems and one for the Tele-Genesis for play that duplicates the arcade even more!

Licensed from Atari Games, this translation of the famous coin-op football of the future disappointed many players. While the version on display (and shown in these photos) was far from completion, the graphics detail, realism, and scrolling all looked like they had popped off of a standard Nintendo 8-Bit cart. This game will be offered for the Tele-Genesis, and the interaction between players will hopefully be preserved from the arcade, but the CES preview left us unimpressed.

  • Machine: ATARI

A sequel to their popular robotic football game, this gridiron contest takes place 50 years after the "Cyberball League" was formed. Though it is based on human football, the players are quite different. Characteristics to keep track of include not only catching and running, but also what metal the players are made of and how wide they are.

  • Levels: N/A
  • Theme: Sport
  • Players: 1-2
  • Difficulty: Average

The popular sports-minded arcade classic is now available for the Genesis. You are needed to coach a league of robotic drones instead of players. Play alone or with a friend for more fun!

Gaze into the future, nearly a century away! After phenomenal advances in technology, football is being played by highly sophisticated (and mass produced) robots. Man has been replaced by gears and wires, no longer engaging in physical activities. Enter a world of atomic footballs, nuclear explosions, and unending fun with Tournament Cyberball for the Atari Lynx System!

Passing, running, and option plays, are all offensive choices that only you can make. Remember, however, that even robots can breakdown after taking massive hits from a pumped up defense, so be careful! Once a robot starts smoking, replace it quickly. Save the team funds for high quality robots like wide receivers and running backs whenever possible.

Underestimating the offense is fatal. Coaches should never let receivers get in the clear or leave a wide open lane for agile running backs to squeak through. Killer plays for defense allow multiple blitzes, prevents, or man-to-man coverages depending on the type of situation.

Superior sounds, intense graphics, and fluid game play make Tournament Cyberball an armchair quarterbacks dream!

It's critical and long. The quarter- back drops back to pass... Crunch!

He's sacked and the pigskin explodes! We can only be talking about one game, the coolest robo-football coin-op of all time, Atari's Cyberball, now coming home to your NES from Jaleco. Unfortunately, this rendition lacks some of the arcade machine's finest qualities.

Ballistic Pigscin

In case you're unfamiliar with Cyber-rules let's recap. Cyberball is based on real football with a few minor and a few major differences. Players are 100% cast-iron robots, ready to pound each other's circuits until something blows up (and it usually does). You get five downs to either cross midfield or score a touchdown, and if you're stopped... kerblooey! The bomb (ball) detonates in your face! In addition to the regular one-human mode two participants can team up against the computer or "duel" against each other.

A total of 10 offensive and 12 defensive formations grace Cyberball's playbook. You can execute most basic plays except punts, field goals and fumbles. But sadly for Cyberfanatics the controls are too haphazard, and sometimes it's tough to even hand off to a runner (the defense invariably picks off your laterals). As a result of the finger-pretzeling gameplay, the computer adversary is fairly tough to beat. Two-player scrimmages are much more enjoyable.

Spare Parts

As you rack up hit after metal-rending hit, you'll build up cash reserves. You can't buy better ‘bots, just replace the wounded. No option is provided for season play, so forget about a long-term team effort. Another crack in Cyberball's armor is the archaic graphic display -- since the bomb/ball never bounces and there are no shadows there's no way to judge height. The music gets nerve-twinging, but the voices are moderately close to authentic. Overall Cyberball isn't a disaster, but it could have been SO much more.


  • Choose Linebacker Blitz for approximately a 90% chance at sacking the computer QB.
  • Lead receivers with your passes to avoid interceptions.

Football has met an all time high. Cyberball, a new game from Sega, couples all the great gameplay of football with some glitzy hi-tech moves. To be more specific the gridiron brutes here are robots. Little if anything will stand in their fey, and they're out to get your QB in a big bad way. The ball has robotic twist. Burning up like a hot potato, this pigskin' will blow up in your face if you hold onto it too long. Let's just say you may be blown away by this one!

Cyberball is an arcade game of 7-man American football, using robotic avatars of different speeds, sizes, and skill sets. The game replaced the standard downs system with an explosive ball that progresses from "cool" to "warm", "hot", and "critical" status as it is used. Players can only defuse the ball, resetting it from its current state back to "cool" by crossing the 50 yard line or by change of possession, whether through touchdown, interception or fumble. A robot holding a critical ball while being tackled is destroyed along with the ball. The robots also possess finite durability. As offensive units are tackled, they wear down, finally issuing smoke and then flames after a number of hits. A flaming robot will explode when hit, thereby fumbling the ball. Players can upgrade robots with faster and more durable units using money bonuses they earn during play. Players select from run, pass or option plays on offense, after which the computer presents four individual plays from which to choose. On defense, a player can select short, medium or long defenses, and then select a specific defensive scheme.

Snapshots and Media

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots

NES/Famicom/Dendy Screenshots