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Starlite Software
Tim Boone
Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne

Double Trouble is a new game from a new company written entirely in machine code, and which claims to use over 150 UDGs. The basic idea seems quite original - Tarmac Tim is a painter on of yellow lines (the sort of person who normally heralds the coming of Yellow Meanies and parking tickets). You must guide him around busy Sinclair Road, painting lines as he goes, surrounding the various pedestrians with them. The Idea is that the numerous cars can't cross a yellow line and so won't run over the pedestrians who resemble Custer making his last stand at Little Big Highstreet. At the base of the screen is Tim's shed and some houses. If Tim runs into these, or any of the cars, he is killed and spills his can of yellow paint everywhere. Mucky!

In fact, in some respects this game resembles Romik's Shark Attack in as much as you set out to protect something by weaving something around it to keep the monsters at bay.


'There's a nice static display but generally the graphics seem to be rather badly proportioned and the movement is a bit jerky. Line drawing is an odd affair; when you turn corners gaps are sometimes left. The game lacks playability and hence addictivity. I was left unimpressed.'

'I wonder whether this was play tested? The likelihood of getting Tarmac Tim from his starting point to where the three randomly dotted bunches of pedestrians stand seems almost impossible. They turn to skulls and cross bones within seconds as the tiny cars dart around like mad wiping them out. This then leaves you with time on your hands with nothing to do but surround yourself with yellow lines to keep the cars away until the 'shift' runs out. The cars are allowed to wrap around as well, so your chances of surviving are pretty remote. All this makes it sadly unplayable. '

'All the elements of this game seem to be at odds with themselves. I know things are never entirely real in computer games, but it seems odd that the pedestrians (for the few seconds they are alive) are ten times as big as the cars which kill them. Also Tim can't draw yellow lines to the top or edges of the wrap around screen, so he has no chance of protecting pedestrians placed at the edges. Sorry, it just doesn't work.'

Control keys: Q/A = up/down, O/P = left/right
Joystick: none
Keyboard play: responsive, 4 directions
Use of colour good
Graphics: okay on Tim, extremely jerky on cars
Sound: above average
Skill levels: progressive difficulty
Lives: 3
General Rating: A good idea spoiled by the gameplay elements.


Screenshot Text

Keep Death of the Sinclair Road - paint a yellow line...