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

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Tony Dillon
Chris Bourne

GREMLIN count the rev up the gameplay.

This is a bit of a turn up for the books and no mistake. It's been a while since we saw anything this good from Gremlin, or should I say since we saw anything good from Gremlin. Let's face it - they've had a bit of a bad spell recently. Even titles like FOFT and Paranoia Complex that promised to be brilliant flopped on release. But now it seems that Gremlin have finally pulled their socks up and caught up with the rest of the software industry. Super Scramble Simulator is great.

Super Scramble Simulator (hereafter known as SSS) doesn't actually offer anything new to the land of computer gaming. It has no quest, no plot, no violence, no sex, no political message and it isn't even a license. So what are Gremlin playing at? Well, rather than layer it with hype, they've spent more time and effort just making the game fun and playable and less time telling everybody how great it's going to be. And it certainly shows.

The idea is simple. Get on your scrambler and try to complete nine off-road tracks of increasing difficulty against the clock. That's it. Sounds a bit dull, doesn't it?

But of course, it isn't. The main dish is fun, followed by a jumbo slice of playability with a generous side order of detail. While still classing itself as a simulator, it isn't a true sim, but lays more emphasis on machine's handling than on an exact representation of how it works: you know what I mean, keep revs at an optimum when climbing a slope, go slowly over rocky or bumpy areas etc.

The game is viewed side on, as in Kikstart, but then there's more. Just below the main window there is an overhead view of the course you're racing on. As you go onto the harder tracks, obstacles no longer appear in the centre of the track. Series of obstacles have to be steered through, and there's no going around. Try to manoeuvre past an obstacle and you'll be put back with a time penalty.

Perhaps it's not not the most inspired game in the world. Probably it's not the most original either, but who needs either of those when you've got a title as fun-giving as SSS?. Go on, take it for a spin.

Reviewer: Tony Dillon

Atari ST, £19.99dk, Imminent
Amiga, £24.99dk, Imminent
Spectrum £9.99cs,£14.99dk, Out Now
Amstrad £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Imminent
C64/128 £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Imminent

Well thought out controls and enough variations in objects make Super Scramble Simulator hard to put down. Just goes to show that old game formats never die.


Screenshot Text

If you're going to ride a bike in these conditions you have to learn how to handle it slowly over bumps, remember?

Preparing to jump over no less than FIVE hula-hoops.

Cave in that windscreen! Oh well, serves him right. Shouldn't drive a beetle.