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Mastertronic Ltd
Arcade: Race 'n' Chase
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Nat Pryce
Chris Bourne

If you get your thrills astride a powerful throbbing hulk (Chance'd be a fine thing! Ed), then Kikstart could be the game for you. If, on the other hand, you consider motorbiking mildly less gripping than the SDP, it may not have quite the same appeal. But wait! I'm no great fan of motocross, but this is not a bad little game.

The object is simple: ride your bike across a scrolling course of jumps, ramps, walls, barrels and flame-throwers (!?), and do it faster than your opponent, be he human or fitted out with those neat little rubber keys.

The bike has four controls, accelerate, brake, wheelie and jump. Some obstacles can only be ridden over at low speed, others at 8 billion mph. Pulling a wheelie helps you over small bumps, but try it over anything heftier and you'll fly gracefully through the air, landing slap in the mud. So don't be too clever.

There are 24 courses, which are played five at a time (Eh? Ed). And if you get bored with these, you can easily build your own with the in-built track editor.

All sounds a mite familiar, dunnit? Well Kikstart does bear a more than passing resemblance to that Code Masters mega-hit ATV Simulator and it has many of the same addictive qualities. Unlike ATV Sim, however, Kikstart loses out on the playability front. The collision detection in particular is seriously warped: you can be riding up a ramp and suddenly sink through it for no apparent reason, and even jump while already flying through the air!

These are quibbles though. While it wins no marks for originality, Kikstart is still a smile to play. If you liked ATV, give it a try.

Fun little moto-cross game in ATV Simulator mode, marred only by some eccentric collision detection.