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Arcade: Race 'n' Chase
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Jon Pillar
Chris Bourne

Not even Kixx are immune from the dreaded s- word it seems, but in a daring break with tradition this sim actually, um, 'sims' a gas-guzzling, dirt-eating (and in my case, stallin'-all-the-time) motorcross experience.

You race against the clock over 15 tracks, split into sets of three. Each set is either an obstacle or an offroad course and you can bring along up to five pals to race against. (If you want.) Presentation is slick - your bike and rider are really nicely animated as they bounce their way along the horizontally-scrolling tracks. The 128 sound is good too, with a variety of toe-tapping tunes. A lot of thought's gone into the design, from the 'everything accessed from the joystick' controls, through the separate high-score and best-time tables (which double the competitive element) to the scanner beneath the main screen that shows out of you what's coming up next. As for gameplay, well, that's equally swish, with the nastily-planned courses plunging you into freezing rivers, bouncing you over the backs of parked Volkswagens and enticing you to go flat out down hills then putting logs at the bottom etc etc.

Unfortunately, there is one glaring fault. Unlike games such as ATV where you can see by the actions of the blokie on the buggy if things are going wrong, the bike in Super Scram carries on normally right up to the point where the program stops dead in its tracks and politely tells you that "You went too fast and fell off". This means you have to keep one eye on the bike, one on the scanner, one on the speedo and the others on the clock. (How many eyes do you think we've got? Ed) Don't get me wrong, it's still a lot of fun to play (once you get into it) and with a couple of friends shouting 'advice' the confusion can be largely avoided - it's just that it shouldn't have been there in the first place. If you're a motorcross fan, or you simply want to impress lesser mortals. Scram s the game to master. Practice hard and hone your joystick - twitching skills, but don't play it within earshot of Granny!


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Oi! Someone take this blimming flag out of the way!