Accolade Inc
1989
Sport: Action
£9.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

41
Mark Caswell, Nick Roberts
Chris Bourne

Here's a motorcycle racing game on some of most tortuous tracks in the world that all speed merchants will love! Start by setting the options: Practice, Single Race or Championship Circuit. Then set the difficulty level between easy peasy at one end of the scale and 'Aaaagh! Where are the brakes,' at the other. Finally, log in your name and the number of laps you want to race (1-99). Three bikes are on offer: a 125cc wimpo machine, a 250cc butch machine and a 500cc suicide machine no one in their right mind would choose.

It's best to choose Practice mode first, mainly to get used to handling the machine. You can spend most of the time in the first few races on the grass rather than the tarmac. But once a bit of control is gained, tackle Single Race or Championship. In both of these you're up against other racers, with the Championship Circuit offering the added fun of slowly clawing your way up the leader table.

Whichever mode you play The Cycles, it's fun, and you get tasteful day-glo sunspecs with the game too. In real life I prefer driving a car (though not as suicidally as Nicko) to riding a bike, but unlike Nick I enjoyed playing this game. Okay, it isn't graphically stunning, but I found it playable. Perhaps Nick doesn't like racing games after his car crash.

MARK ... 85%

CRITICISM

'Cycles is a typical Accolade conversion. They make a fantastic simulation of motorcycles on the 16-bit computers and then attempt to bring the game to 8-bit - unsuccessfully. The packaging is plastered with screen shots of the IBM PC version not the Spectrum - a tad misleading. The graphics consist of patchy coloured cycle handlebars and a monochrome area where the undetailed track trundles by. When racing the odd opponent zooms past too: nothing special visually, and there's no tune, just a motorcycle noise effect. Playing the game isn't too bad once you master the controls. Hit every corner at correct speed or you go flying off into the grass. Play doesn't seem too difficult though: I got first place every time on the hardest difficulty! A world record I think! Cycles is a mediocre simulation of a nail biting sport, not suited to the 8-bit capabilities.' NICK ... 52%

Disappointing simulation for tin legged motorbike racing aficionados.

70%
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68%