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Mirrorsoft Ltd
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Graham Taylor
Chris Bourne

Imagine Paper Boy with firepower and you have some of the flavour of Mean Streak - new out from Mirrorsoft.

Where you had to dodge around obstacles and deliver papers in Paperboy in this game you have to dodge obstacles and blow away a whole series of computer controlled rival bikes.

We're not talking push bikes either - these machines are mean.

You control a bike speeding across a featureless landscape. Featureless that is except for assorted brick walls, tin-tacks and other obstacles that will total or seriously damage your bike.

And here and there are useful items you actually want to bump into - bonus oil (for causing oil slicks), extra fuel and missiles.

The objective is pretty simple - destroy the other bikes and get to the end of each level within a tight time limit.

This is also going to involve carefully timed jumps over ramps and sometimes the destruction of barriers with only moments in which to respond.

On early levels dealing with the bikes is mainly a matter of getting behind them and blasting but as they get cleverer you will need to swerve and weave your way around. One entertaining option is to barge the bikes on to a ramp which runs along the side of the road.

The barging can get very frenzied as the two bikes push back and forth - not unlike a James Bond film actually. More fun is to be had by dropping oil slicks...

The combination of bike-to- bike fighting and obstacle dodging makes for a pretty potent game. It's nicely presented too. The screen scrolls smoothly and diagonally al la Paperboy and the movement of the bikes looks pretty authentic.

On a game as fast moving as this the screen is inevitably two-colour though exactly which two colours you get depends on the level.

It must be said, the backgrounds are pretty plain and uninteresting but then the bikes are really where most of the action is.

The only real criticism I have is that after a point there are few surprises in the game - the levels look pretty much the same and only the intelligence and numbers of the enemy and the variety of obstacles changes.

To be fair though tactics is the point of the game rather than lots of vastly different levels and in that sense it succeeds magnificently.

Label: Mirrorsoft
Author: Byron Nilson
Price: £7.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Graham Taylor

Fast paced motorbike game. Lots of thrills and spills and lots of destruction. It's sort of Paperboy with blasting.


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BYRON NILSON has only been in the programming business for a year or so and Mean Streak is his second project.

SOFTOGRAPHY: Little Computer People (Activision, 1987)