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Sport: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Marcus Berkmann
Chris Bourne

Pro Mountain Bike Simulator? Does this not smack of desperation to you, fellow bargain hunters?

Well, of course it does, but Alternative has to pay bills too, so who can blame it for cashing in (rather late, admittedly) on the magic word 'Simulator'? Not I.

And the game, in fact, is not at all bad. Designed for two players (one of whom can be the computer) it involves you manoeuvring your cranky old grid across a perilous mountain landscape, avoiding hazards and manipulating the billions of gears on offer to complete the course in the shortest possible time. The gears are what cause the initial problems, especially when you start reading the inlay notes and discover how many trillions of combinations of keys you're going to have to master. Unlike many complicated games, though, the key definitions make a lot of sense, and it's just a matter of time before you get used to them. The computer, of course, is a bit useful, and you'll do well to beat it. It does have three skill levels though, so once you've started beating it regularly on one you can shift up to the next. Hazards like logs and holes must usually either be walked over (more keys to remember) or steered past, but ramps are fun and rocks are even more fun, as you prang the grid against them and fly through the air, breaking every bone in your body. A jolly little game in short, well executed and good for a few weeks at least.