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Code Masters Ltd
Arcade: Race 'n' Chase
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Garth Sumpter
Chris Bourne

Well here we have, Championship Jet Ski Simulator and what amazing feats of daring Jet Ski do can you undertake. None. Not a sausage. Not even the slightest wet wheelie. This game gives you all the misery of screaming around in the wet without even the exciting possibility of catching pneumonia or wearing a rubber suit (fnar), but wait, does the game have any merits it at all? Yes it does. What you can do is race against a friend around a variety of wet, wet, wet courses and listen attentively to the sampled voice. Is that enough to warrant you buying it? I should think not but if you're daft enough to buy it then you're daft enough to read about it and I'm more than daft enough to write about it so here we go....

Up to two jet skis out of the four that race can be controlled by players, with control being; rotate clockwise or anti-clockwise and fire to accelerate. Each course is marked by gates with ascending numbers showing the route that you must follow. The way to race is by sliding the jet ski around the corners. It's a sort of aquaplane skid and it's tricky to pick up but once you've mastered it the control becomes quite authentic. What does he mean authentic? I hear you cry from the depths of your armchairs. Well na na di na na to you mateys! I've jet skied with the best down the River Cole so I know!

The options screen at the begining gives a menu for 1 or 2 players and names can be entered for the contestants. There's a high score table and a controls menu that gives you numerous options for control over the two player's machines. Full marks to the twins for putting such a useful front end on the game.

On to the race courses. There are two locations for racing; the Lakes which is easy peasey, the only obstacles are the odd jetty and weed beds which slow down your engine - or the Docks which, as you might imagine, are full of boats and weirs and general dockish sort of bits, hence the courses twist and turn like the hands of an arthritic journalist. (Oh yes? So why can't we prise them open when you've got money in them? Jim & Al).

After each race there's a full run down of your times and performance giving lap times for each circuit with a total time, your time bonus and your score. There's even a replay option that will show the last race again so that you can study your performance. Each time you qualify in a race you move onto the next course. The options menu is as comprehensive as any that may grace a full price game and it's a nice touch - so is the sampled voice that starts each race.

Jet skiing is fun, wildly exciting and wet. This game is fun for two but definitely a little wet when playing on your own. It's a reasonable race game but a simulator - no way! I think that the sooner someone decides that the Trade Description Act should be applied to the word Simulator, the better and then perhaps race games will remain races and simulators will continue to be long and complicated and played by professional business people when they think that no-one will notice that the annual reports have suddenly turned into an F15 Eagle.

Label: Code Masters
Author: The Oliver Twins
Price: £2.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Garth Sumpter

An above average race game with above average sound.


Screenshot Text

The dockyards call for some fancy jet skiing, and the water-splash at the top calls for a wet suit and a good run up.

Here at the Lakes it's all go! Jim's just slightly behind but will he get past Garth on the next lap?