Picks and Pans Review: Julius Erving and Larry Bird Go One-on-One

updated 08/27/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/27/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Whether trying to play real-life hoops makes you feel as if someone had tied your sneaker laces together or you fancy yourself a pretty mean, slamdunkin' dude, this is the computer simulation experience you've been waiting for. Imagine going one-on-one against Dr. J and being able to play like Larry Bird or vice versa. Programmer and basketball fiend Eric Hammond had his two idols filmed in action separately, then together on a playground, quizzed them on their moves and coded it all onto a floppy disc. The result is a playable, visually exciting game with enough complexity to keep it interesting. Players can take either role against the computer or against each other. Fouls, fatigue, hot streaks and even the stars' own idiosyncrasies are factored in. If you drive for the basket as Dr. J probably would, your chances of sinking one are better than if you hung back and shot from the outside, like Bird might. Hammond, Bird and Dr. J already have put all the necessary sweat into the game, so you won't get much exercise. But you will have to use your head. Bill Bradley used to say the key to basketball was a sense of where you are. This program gives you a sense of what it might be like to be there. (Electronic Arts, $40; joystick required)

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