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Sport: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Rick Robson
Chris Bourne

What do you get if you cross a kangaroo with a sheep? Yeh, a woolly jumper. But there's nothing woolly about this show jumping game that'll leave the family hoarse with delight.

The game is simplicity itself and works precisely because of that. You and your sturdy mount must negotiate a jump ring. You're given a choice of eight mounts, two levels of difficulty, the game has six different courses and up to eight players can take part.

Pre-jump you are given a course map - worth remembering when best speeds are wanted. You're then given one hundred seconds to complete the course (usually within a set number of faults) if you wish to move on to the next course. The game is keyboard definable but it works best on the joystick. Speed (walk to walloping gallop) varies enormously and with the possible control of your horse through 360 degrees your tactics will vary between the Schockomile school of slow and steady and the Harvey Smith hell for leather theory.

The course doesn't scroll but unfolds over several screens. The facility to 'walk the course' as in the real McCoy is a distinct advantage. The only unrealistic facet is that you can go behind jumps - normally faulted - but your average gamer would probably never complete without it.

Having done the hard part well - horse and jump simulation - Alligata falls at the final fence by failing to recognise the thrills of the original sport. The crowd graphics are tinny, no one falls off and the paraphernalia of the ring are missing - why aren't real horse, rider or tournament names used? Three faults for this refusal but a clear round for a game as sweet as a (pony) nut.