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Players Premier
Arcade: Race 'n' Chase
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Marcus Berkmann
Chris Bourne

You may know a bit about this one already - after all, we ran a playable demo of the first level on one of our Smash Tapes recently (March 1990 to be precise). It's a two-player vertically-scrolling racing game, something along the lines of Spy Hunter or the more recent Action Fighter, with the screen divided firmly into two halves, so the two cars don't interact at all as such. Drawn in metallic-look mononchrome, it's visually reminiscent of the Speccy Xenon more than anything else, and for a vertical scroller it's exceptionally easy on the eye - at no point do the little cars get lost in over-ambitious backgrounds, as is so often the case. It plays very well too, in a limited sort of way. There's no side-to-side movement of the play area, but the vertical scrolling is exceptionally fast and smooth, with the cars responding very sharply to the controls.

What you have to do is simple in the extreme - complete each of the six courses in as short a time as possible. To do this you need to keep a beady eye on the arrows that mark out a suggested route (or else you'll end up smashing straight into solid wall) and also position your finger close by the turbo switch for that extra bit of boost you'll need when making a particularly long jump using one of the stunt ramps. Yep, it's just like a futuristic version of The Dukes Of Hazzard!

If pure reaction games are your bag you could do a lot worse than pick this up - in fact, you might be planning to already. For the rest of you, why not check out that demo again for another quick look? It's really pretty good, you know.