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Soft Design
Arcade: Solo beat-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K
Firebird BleepLoad

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Mark Rothwell, Robin Candy, Mike Dunn
Chris Bourne

When the challenger drops out, you are forced to replace him in the kickboxing ring - and you find yourself up against that foul-breathing mean man Mick The Meat Kicker (dust another abusive term for your Spectrum...).

You're able to move freely about the isometric 3-D playing area, but hard luck - you can't get out of it.

To protect yourself from Mick's pulverising advances you can punch and kick both high and low, or duck and block his aggressive moves. Kicks score higher than punches, but they're more difficult ort home.

Both boxers ' endurance levels are reduced when punches and kicks conned. Should your computer opponent's level fall to zero he's defeated, and you pass on to the next level and a fresh combatant. But it's your turn to throw in the towel when you run out of puff.

Endurance reserves are restored by either evading or blocking an opponent's aggressive moves.

Throughout this bloodless brutality a bonus clock runs down at the bottom of the screen; the longer the contest, the tower the bonus scored when you defeat an opponent. And when there's no bonus left the contest is over.


'Not another Exploding Fist-type game, I thought - and, yes, of course it is. But despite the strangely-coloured trees and yellow grass Kick Boxing is quite enjoyable ... at first. The combatants move around the screen quite nicely, knocking the hell out of one another, though as with a lot of martial arts games the controls are pretty difficult to master. But in the end Kick Boxing left me wondering "why bother?' MARK

'This latest in a long line of beat-'em-up games shows that the idea is wearing a bit thin. I don't think kick boxing has been the theme of a game before - but this attempt to represent a fast contact sport has failed, and badly! Graphically, Kick Boxing is very simplistic; the badly-drawn characters jerk about the screen in terrible animation. It's also very hard to get the hang of, and boredom sets in quickly. Kick Boxing is poor value even for £1.99.' ROBIN

'Urgh! Kick Boxing is very unappealing; the graphics are the best aspect, and they're pretty unimpressive. And the controls are very difficult to master. It's a pity - a successful 3-D boxing game on the Spectrum would be good.' MIKE

Control keys: Q/A up/down, N/M left/right, SYMBOL SHIFT to fire (keys used in combinations for functions)
Joystick: Kempston
Use of colour: predominantly black line on yellow ground
Graphics: jerky, masked animation frames on 3-D perspective area
Sound: poor, very limited spot FX
Skill levels: one
Screens: one boxing ring, with increasingly competent opponents
General Rating: The implementation does nothing to improve a very thin beat-'em-up.


Screenshot Text

The guy in the fishnet tights isn't doing the Time Warp from the Rocky Horror Show, it's actually a high kick.