Virgin Games Ltd
1986
Strategy: Management
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

38
Graham Taylor
Chris Bourne

Inevitable really. Virgin games has released a computer program based on their heroic gnome-like boss's brave crossing of the Atlantic - alone but for a highly trained boat crew and unhelped apart from by computers, helicopters, a purpose-built ship and unnoticed except by the world's TV crews and a man on board from Tomorrows World.

Virgin Atlantic Challenger broke barriers of self promotion never previously breached.

Now its a game. A perfect budget title in fact. Snag is it costs £7.95.

It isn't what you'd think. The obvious thing would be some sort of scrolling graphics drive-the-boat affair. Instead Virgin Challenger is more of a management game, based around joystick and icons where you must make the right response to a series of problems.

There are three screens depicting two sections of the boat hull and the cockpit.

Tasks, all accomplished via simple joystick controls, include the following: steering to avoid hazards, steering to meet up with a refuelling tanker, eating to restore energy, controlling engine speed while keeping its temperature down, dealing with telexes and using the radar to check your course.

Strangely, it is vaguely amusing watching the little Richard Branson sprite, complete with funny hair and beard trot around the ship and the whole ship management thing's quite entertaining for a while - but I really don't think there is enough to this game to justify its full price tag.

Label: Virgin Games
Author: Millside Software
Price: £7.95
Joystick: Kempston
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Graham Taylor

**

A simple management style game. Entertaining enough to begin with but not likely to last. Should have been a budget title.

2/5