Martech Games Ltd
Ian McArdle
1984
Sport: Action
£6.95
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

46,47
Chris Bourne

Eddie Kidd is probably among the best known motor cycle stuntmen in the world. Apparently a film about American stuntman Evel Knievel inspired the twelve year old Kidd to start training with an ordinary bicyde - jumping over oil cans, barrels and even his school mates. Now Spectrum owners have an opportunity to match some of his feats in a simulation which has been programmed with some help from Eddie Kidd himself, who appeared on the Martech stand at the recent PCW Show in London to help promote the game.

Like the young Eddie, players will have to start off on a pedal bicycle before progressing to something a bit more powerful. The screen layout is quite straightforward. The top half is the actual playing area and the bottom half contains the instrumentation. In the playing area you are shown the blue sky with clouds (moving in parallax 3D), with a strip of yellow ground, a fence and then the black road with its white centre line stripes. Each attempt starts with the bike rolling off the take off ramp, heading away for the run up.

Your instrumentation shows the gears (1 to 5), brake on or off, two bars for revs and speed, and below that the objects and numbers you are attempting to jump. Controls from keyboard or joystick affect the speed, and therefore the gear change, by the throttle or brake, as well as turning the bike around and the angle at which Eddie leans. This latter is quite important both on take off and landing in controlling the attitude of the bike. Obviously other factors in a successful jump are the take off speed and the length of run up to the ramp. The run up is decide] by the player quite simply by turning the bike around when you think you are far enough h from the ramp. The wild card factor is the gusting headwind, which, depending on strength, can radically alter the length of the jump. To help you assess this factor, there is a wind sock device in the instrumentation area.

Software Communications are running two competitions in conjunction with Eddie Kidd Jump Challenge. Prizes include BMX Bikes, microcomputers and colour TVs.

Details are on the Inlay, which also includes your Official Contender Card and a Jump Challenge sticker.

CRITICISM

'Why does an essentially motorcycle game start off with a push bike jump? It may show how he started at first, or where he got his inspiration from first, but in this particular game it becomes very repetetive, boring and irrelevant to the game. The motorcycle seems to perform not unlike a real one, and in fact mimicks a real one very well in mid air. One thing I don't like about this game is if you fall of your bike by hitting cars, landing wrong or whatever, you return to the menu, giving you no second chance, which is probably a little mean, and also a major drawback. Also, I didn't understand the scoring system, sometimes I scored and sometimes I didn't. This game is interesting at first to play, but the novelty wears off quite quickly. Unless you're a real motorcycle stunt fanatic, I don't think this game's worth the money.'

'The firs t task on this novel game is to pedal over some barrels. This is a doddle, or even a toddle, compared to what comes next. In the interests of making the game a little bit more playable, it would have been better to omit this stage on subsequent attempts since it soon begins to irritate. Controlling the motorcycle is fairly simple, and the fun in the game depends heavily on how you actually make your jump. There is, therefore, the attendant risk that players will soon tire of Eddie Kidd because in truth there is nothing else to it. Of course, as you get more practiced you can jump more and more cars etc. , but I don't think this is going to prove enough to keep people playing, especially as the scenery doesn't change.'

'Eddie Kidd has some nice graphics, the background is simple enough, but the effect of movement works quite well, and the graphics of your biker is quite neat, especially in the spills. But as far as it goes, we have already seen as good in Wheelie. Sadly, after all the promise, this game is quite unaddictive, for me at any rate, less of a game in fact than a simulation.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: SYM SHIFT/SPACE causes lean, Z controls throttle, CAPS controls brake, any key on 2nd row will turn bike
Joystick: Sinclair 2
Keyboard play: responsive, but not the best layout
Use of colour: somewhat limited, but clean
Graphics: smooth, fairly well detailed on bike
Sound: motorcycle noise is quite good, otherwise not much
Skill levels: progressive difficulty
Lives: 1
Screens: 1
Special features: competition
General Rating: A good simulation, not over exciting and not particularly addictive.

50%
63%
68%
82%
30%
48%
56%

Screenshot Text

Is it a bird? Is it a 'plane? No, it's Eddie Kidd eight cars up and twenty feet in the air in JUMP CHALLENGE.