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Michael Davies
1985
Arcade: Action
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Unspecified custom loader

76,77
Steve Malone
Chris Bourne

ROLLING STONE AGE

If you're on the look out for a simple, unsophisticated slice of arcade action, BC's Quest For Tires may be the game for you. Steve Malone gathers very little moss in his review of Software Project's new Neandertale!

Next time you get a puncture, don't blow your top. Just think what it must've been like One Million Years BD - Before Dunlop. You'll get some idea from playing BC's Quest For Tires, the prehistoric program from Software Projects. So, prepare for a distinctly bumpy ride.

The first thing that'll strike you about the game is that the graphics have a distinctly cartoonish feel about them. Hardly surprising really as our stone-age hero is the hero of Johnny Hart's BC newspaper comic strip. Here our hero sets out on his rolling stone to rescue his loved one, jumping and ducking according to the hazards that are thrown at him.

All in all this is a good, competently programmed arcade game. And it'll have you throwing the joystick around the room with frustration as Thor the hero falls flat on his face for the umpteenth time.

Where the game falls down is in the fact that there's just not enough of it. Two days of frantic joystick-juggling or keyboard bashing (and it's addictive enough to keep you at it that long!) will allow most of you to get to the end. And once you've cracked it, it's back to the beginning again – only this time it's just that bit faster. The only trouble is that once you've been at the finish, it doesn't have quite the same air of mystery about it - and then it's on to racking up the points.

Having said all that, this is pure and unadulterated (no added colour, no preservatives) arcade action - and it's still got plenty of natural fizz!

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In the first stage of the game, you must jump the divots and casually-strewn rocks. It's not too tricky at the minimum speed but the objects have a habit of bunching together so prepare for some tight manoeuvres. There's always one sod around just waiting to trip you up!

Buck or grouse (groan)! Pull the joystick back smartish if you want to get under the head-high branches without a nasty case of concussion.

Into the forest now where you'll have to leap over fallen logs - only this time you're travelling at four time the speed.

The next section is similar to Frogger. You'll need split-second timing to cross the pond on the backs of the sinking and resurfacing turtles.

An added danger as you roll up the hill are the boulders rolling back down. To gain a bit of extra distance, jump up and jerk the joystick in the direction you want to go.

Looks just like the mother-in-law. Waiting on the other side of the water is a cavewoman weilding a Jurassic basball bat. If your timing's out, you can knock another life on the head.

Running up that hill now, and you'll come across more rocks and divots waiting to bring you back to earth with a bump.

To traverse the pond, get underneath the air/sea rescue bird that's been shadowing you since you reached the plateau. As soon as you see the water, jump up and he'll carry you across to safety.

As soon as you hit the bottom of the hill, start accelerating so that you hit the edge of the water at 80 mph.. and then jump for your life!

Back on dry land and you've not only got to negotiate the rocks and divots bit also keep out of the way of the boulders raining down from the sky. Short sharp bursts of speed are the only way you'll make it through to the other side.

More water and more bobbing turtles. And if you've learned the pattern of the previous turtles, forget it... it's a whole new story here.

Just to spur you on, a speech bubbl pops up now and again to remind you that your cute cavewife is still in danger.

At the far side of the pond is a dinky dinosaur on the look out for dinner. He'll pop his head out just long enough to knock you off the turtles and into the drink. Timing is all-important.

Straight into the cave now with not even a moment to get your eyes accustomed to the dark. So, make sure that you duck the stalactites and jump the stalagmites - or is it the other way round?

You've made it - and though the course of true love wasn't exactly smooth you've saved your sweetheart. So, after a quick-on-screen kiss'n'cuddle, it's back to the beginning again when the pace hots up even more.