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Unique [1]
Philip Carlin
Arcade: Race 'n' Chase
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

Despite the cover, which might just tempt you to believe this is a game like Ultimate's Tranz-Am, Sand Scorchers is a Tron-style cycle game for one player against the computer or two players. Instead of the more usual ultra-thin light trails, there are character block-wide colour strips. The computer starts with one black trail from the top left edge, then it adds a blue one from the top right, then a red from the bottom right and so on, getting more difficult with each level. There is only one playing speed.

The object, as usual, is to 'drive' around avoiding contact with a trail of either an enemy or yourself, not driving off the edge of the screen or reversing on your own trail. The winner is the one to force the enemy cars into a spot where they have nowhere else to go.


'I really like to see interesting and exciting covers and feel they should be encouraged. But what does spoil things is that some games look great on the outside and don 't leave the same impression once loaded. This is typical of that variety - a spectacular sand buggy/ explosion followed by a line blocker type game (Tron). The game was last, almost too fast for keys and the graphics were simple. A fairly typical example of this type of game. Not what I expected and not too hot anyway.'

'I am not at all impressed with this game - primitive idea and primitive graphics. This is the sort of game I would have expected two years ago. There is some sound, but not much colour. Overall a very poor standard on a high software standard machine. Don't buy it.'

'This is the most enjoyable game of its type I have played, perhaps because the wider stripes of colour, or trails, make it easier to see what's going on. Having said that, I couldn't re- commend anyone to fork out money for this unless they are dead keen on Tron type grid games. There are so many versions available (though this is reasonably good) and the game must have gone out of fashion months and months ago. Also, the packaging is extremely misleading, with its racing, exploding picture on the cover and the blurb inside which says, 'Whilst driving your sand-scorcher across the desolate wilderness you come under attack from other hostile sand-scorching buggies.' Sounds great. doesn't it? The game looks nothing like the description at all. Control responses are reasonable which isn't quite good enough for a game of high speed reaction such as this. '

Control keys: user-definable, four directions needed
Joystick: Kempston, Fuller, Protek, AGF, ZX 2
Keyboard play: reasonable, good because of UDK
Use of colour: poor
Graphics: primitive
Sound: simple tunes and none during play
Skill levels: 12
Lives: 4
Originality: hardly any
General Rating: Poor to fair.


Screenshot Text

After the cassette cover, the graphics are a let down - not much sand scorching here.