C&VG1st March 1988
Published in Computer & Video Games #77
ATV Simulator brings together all the essential elements of motorbike cross country scrambling and then proceeds to become one of the worst simulations I have ever seen.
The game has a total of six different playing areas: Sand Duning, Grass Tracking, Icebergs, Desert, Tropicana and Swamp. All of these scroll from left to right and you are instructed to out-manoeuvre an assortment of obstacles including rocks, fences, icebergs, mounds and ball bouncing seals.
The screen is split into two windows - the top window shows player one's progress through the course and the second player two's. Both players much compete against the clock.
Any player who fails to reach the finishing line within the given time (which changes according to the difficulty of each course) will lose and forfeit the race. The remaining player is permitted to proceed through the remaining courses, until he/she fails to complete the course within the given time.
Controlling your bike or buggy is achieved by using either the keyboard or the joystick.
If you successfully complete any course within the given time limit you are awarded a score bonus which rapidly clocks-up your score.
The graphics for ATV are feeble and weak and the sound is no better. Playability is almost non-existent because of very poor joystick and keyboard responses.
I don't know whether Codemasters intended ATV to have been a rival to Mastertronic's Kikstart, or maybe it's just a slight coincidence that it turned out to look and sound almost like it. Well anyway, one thing that I have learnt from reviewing this game is... never, under any circumstances, judge a game by the cover or screenshots on the inlay card... but read the reviews instead!