1984
Arcade: Race 'n' Chase
£5.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

36,37
Chris Bourne

Knight Driver is not an attempt at' Pole Position' and is content to more resemble some of the earlier Spectrum road games, which is not to say that it is primitive at all. In essence, you must steer a car along a fairly lengthy series of roads which appear to be set in a seaside resort town. The view is seen from directly above and the roads are defined with double broken white lines as though the painter from Double Trouble has visited the place before.

These roads twist and turn energetically past tree-filled parks, between houses and shops, past parked cars, round traffic islands and even turn into cul-de-sacs and car parks. The object, quite simply, is to get all the way through to the 'finishing' line without steering off the road. There are two levels, Professional and Learner. If you select Professional you lose one of your lives every time you veer off the road, whereas Learners don't, but have a time limit imposed on them. There, is also an Automatic mode, which is really a demo.

The screen display is divided into three areas. The two larger squares at the top are the town map and a large graphic device of your car flashing. Running along the bottom is a large report strip. When you have finished, or run out of time or lives, this reports back on how well or badly you did.

CRITICISM

'Knight Driver is a drive around a rather scenic track and the graphics are quite good. As the playing area is much greater than the display, the graphics are constantly on the scroll, and they do this rather well. Unfortunately the control is not exactly brilliant (possibly an Eastern bloc vehicle - Skoda, etc). The game is playable at first but I soon began to lose interest - just beating the clock gets a little boring after a while. Nice graphics, above average.'

'The scene is set in an empty town and you're the lonesome driver. The graphics are drawn very nicely and the streets move across the screen wonderfully. But steering your car is a disappointment and it's quite unrealistic due to the fact that 45' increments are used. Thus you tend to oversteer. Poor key response makes this factor worse. Otherwise colour and sound are well used. At the end of each game the computer prints out your score and a lengthy report in very large letters. This delays you having another go immediately - frustrating.'

'It s a pity, because the graphics are of a high quality, that this game really offers so little to the player. After a couple of turns around the streets I had had enough. The car is exceptionally difficult to steer, more like a tank than a saloon! This doesn't add to its playability and certainly bonks on the head any addictive qualities it might have possessed. The report, which comes in such large letters that only two or three words can be displayed at once, takes an age and only acts to interrupt any flow you may have achieved. I would have expected a bit more from Hewsons than this.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: Z/CAPS SHIFT = left/right, BREAK/SYM SHIFT - accelerate/brake. ENTER to start
Joystick: none
Keyboard play: sensible keys, but the response is a bit slow and car control is difficult
Use of colour: very good
Graphics: nice and big, detailed and smooth with excellent scrolling
Sound: good
Skill levels: 2
Lives: 5
General Rating: Good graphics but ultimately a rather pointless game.

53%
73%
60%
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45%
57%
59%