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New Concepts Ltd
Sport: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Rick Robson
Chris Bourne

Wax down the three-fin thruster, break out the factor five and the Ray-Ban sunnies, surfies... mmm, zinc oxide is so becoming.... This is it, the Big One, New Concept's square deal surf game Surfchamp, endorsed, no less, by the Irish Surfing Association - are they the ones who looked for a downhill take for the water skiing team?

Credit where its due. This really is a whole new concept in computer games, centred around the new Dublin based company's tactile interface that makes a joystick redundant. Well, in fact, it's a bit of plastic shaped like an ironing board you put on top of the keys. Then instead of pumping keys you simulate the movement of a surfboard - with your fingers, not your pins, you understand.

Titter not. It's not as silly as it sounds. In fact, for your average player it's too much like surfing and not enough of a computer game. A lot of time will be spent just paddling out looking for a wave and then mastering the skills to stand up, ride it, aerial, hang five and hang ten. Multiply this by weather variations, choice of board and gear (five of each) and you'll see there is plenty of game variation. There's also a choice of a ten speed practice mode or actual competition (with real life compo possibilities). And you've got to put your vital statistics in to increase the lottery.

So, nottalotta people might like this, but I loved it.