NEW GAME OF THE MONTH

3D DEATHCHASE

Producer: Micromega
Memory required: 16K
Retail price: £6.95
Author: Mervyn Estcourt

Title Screen

Here’s a new game which really does deserve the 3D prefix! Considering that it’s packed into 16K, this has to be the best yet road race type game for the Spectrum.

The story line goes: It is 2501, one hundred years after the Great War and the North American continent is ruled by mighty warlords in constant conflict over forest territory. You are one of the elite mercenaries, Riders of the Big Bikes...

And so on...

But who cares about the story line? All our reviewers were stunned by the game and that’s what counts! What you get is a view over the Big Bike’s handlebars, with a pair of black leather clad hands gripping them. Before you is what appears to be a reasonably empty landscape with a couple of small trees in the distance. But as soon as you accelerate the picture changes. The trees suddenly seem to multiply — and they’re big!

Screenshot

Steering your bike between the trees, you chase after two other riders, firing photon bolts at them. A helicopter hovers around, occasionally landing. This too can be shot if you’re good.

And that’s about it. Except for the night patrol...

CRITICISM

‘This is an extremely simple idea for a game, and utterly compelling to play. Once you shoot up two riders the game automatically switches to night patrol. It’s a little harder to see the trees, and if you get through that, sector two day patrol adds a tank as well as the helicopters. The main problem is braking, not that you can’t, just that somehow you forget to in the excitement. Great graphics!’

‘There is a range indicator to let you know how close to the other bikes you are, but I never even noticed it because the 3D effect is so good you can fire by instinct as you would in real life. The graphics of the bolts firing away are very good and so is the explosion when you hit something, so realistic that the bits seem to fly up over your shoulders. Slamming into a tree at full tilt is quite an experience. This game is dangerously addictive to play.’

Return of the Jedi has nothing on this. The chase through the trees is breathtaking — quite literally. Fantastic graphics, exceptionally smooth movement, the bike handles really well (you can see the rider’s hands turning the handlebars). Buy it!’

COMMENTS

Keyboard positions: very good, 1 for left, zero for right, 8/9 brake/accelerate, and any bottom row key to fire
Joystick option: Kempston
Keyboard play: very responsive
Use of colour: good
Graphics: superb
Sound: very good
Skill levels: each sector gets harder
Lives: 3
General rating: excellent.

Use of computer90%
Graphics92%
Playability95%
Getting started85%
Addictive qualities98%
Value for money92%
Overall92%

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