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Zeppelin Games Ltd
Not Known
ZX Spectrum 48K

Other Links

Rich Pelley
Chris Bourne

The good old days, eh? But that's enough reminiscing - I don't tend to go in for these long, waffly introductions myself. So on with the review.

Full Throttle
"Crank up a joystick, rev up and you're off! This has to be the best racing game on two wheels..." Of course at the time that this was originally written, Super Hang On, Enduro Racer, numerous budget games (and probably a few other ful-pricers that I can't remember) hadn't been written. In fact, blame Jon if I'm wrong (Hey! Jon) but I don't think that there was another racing games on two wheels at the time of writing. Which meant that you could get away no scenery, a flickery track and competitors who literally merge into one great lump because no one had ever seen a racing game vefore where there was scenery, the track didn't flicker and the competitors actually moved like humans. Today though, well, just try to sort out the anagram 'pcar'.

Hurrah! The Your Sinclair Number One All Time Top Game On The Speccy (At Least, According To Stuart Campbell), or T Y S N O A T T G O T S (A L A T S C) for short. Admittedly, you haven't lived if you've never played 3D Deathchase - remember the forest-chase section of Return of the Jedi where Luke and Leia jump onto jet-bikes and zoom off through the trees (why didn't they just fly over them, Jon pointed out?) - this is essentially 3D Deathchase, with you on the bike, zooming through the trees with left, right, accelerate and fire controls at your disposal (1, 0, 9 and SPACE if you please). Oh, and 8 for break, but you won't need to worry about that as you'll be having far too much fun shooting baddies (you even get to shoot the competitors out of Full Throttle) and driving into trees. this is one of those games that you'll stare at despondently on your first game and think - nah. And then you'll be hooked.

3D Grand Prix
Ooops - I forgot about this one in the review of Badlands, and it took me ages, too. So you'd better make that list of Supersprint rip-offs (in descending celebratedness)

1) Ivan 'Iron Man' Stewart's Super Off Road Racer
2) Badlands
3) Grand Prix Simulator
4) Supersprint

With 3D Grand Prix coming in at three and a half. It's the view, you see, it's not entirely from the top - it's from above and back a bit. More so than Off Road Racer. So it becomes sort of 3D. Except you can still see yourself when you go under the bridge, which completely ruins the effect. And you're back to racing on a black void. And your car doesn't handle too well (you can reverse though). And there are no bonuses or power-ups to collect. Let's just say, this is a game that has been bettered, er, twice and a half.

Turbo Skate Fighter
An into-the-screen race to the finish line along a track littered with obstacles such as spikes and pillars, your opponents who can be punched out of the way (but avoid them as they fall). The highscore table is quite nice, as to the game - Why? is all I can say. Deathchase and Full Throttle, in case you hadn't realised, are old just-when-the-Speccy-came-out full pricers, and today may look dated, but are still probably worth seeing all the same. As with Grand Prix, Skate was/is an old Zeppelin game and, in this case, I can't help thinking they were deliberately trying to be original. I'm afraid it hasn't worked.

Nor have I really ever found much joy in long winded conclusionary bits. Deathchase is a pleasant reminder of how good full-price Speccy games used to be and still plays well today. (There you go, Stuart). The other bits are, well, best forgotten really. Or maybe loaded up once, just for the hell of it.


Screenshot Text

Felix roared around the third curve at Silverstone, overtaking Sharkey and Mrs Trimble from the corner shop. Suddenly he was struck by a horrible, nagging doubt. What if he wasn't riding a bike at all, but a unicycle? It was a scary thought.

It's the great Deathchase puzzle: why are the riders hands back-to-front? Perhaps he's hideously disfigured. Or there are really two one-armed cyclists.

It's healthful, vigorous exercise is skating. You're using every muscle in your body when you skate, you know. Or was that when you're stretched in all directions at once by a black hole?

As Simon whispered past on the outside, hell-bent on catching Roger in the distance, Katrina rolled to a stop and disguised herself as Robocop.