Crazee Rider (Superior/Acornsoft) Review | The Micro User - Everygamegoing

The Micro User

Crazee Rider
By Superior/Acornsoft
BBC B/B+/Master 128

Published in The Micro User 5.07

Don your crash helmet, zip up your leathers and prepare for battle. You'll need nimble fingers, fast reactions and a Kamikasi streak ifyou hope to survive.

Superior Software's latest product is not a shoot-'em-up (or yet another Repton clone), but a superb motorcycle race game called Crazee Rider, written by Galaforce author, Kevin Edwards.

There's nothing like screaming down the road on a 900cc superbike with the smell of burning rubber and the sight of cars disappearing far behind.

Okay, so you can't actually smell the rubber (perhaps Superior can include a scratch and sniff card with their next release) and there aren't any cars, just bikes. The excitement is certainly there, and it'll soon have your heart thumping and the adrenalin flowing.

The main screen display shows your bike, (the viewpoint is slightly above and behind the bike so you can actually see yourself), speedometer, race position indicator and your view of the track ahead. At the top of the screen is your score and a bird's eye view ofthe current race track - there are seven in all.

As the starting lights change to green 60 bikes fly past left and right as you accelerate up the straight towards the first bend. It's a depressing sight (and not one I'm familiar with), but you soon get used to it.

Here the micro cheats as the computer-controlled bikes accelerate to maximum speed instantly, whereas it takes you at least half a mile. It has to, otherwise it wouldn't stand a chance. By weaving down the straight from the starting grid you can block a few and stop them passing.

Luckily, your racer has been tuned by the best mechanics in the business and they have squeezed a few extra horses out of the engine. This means that flat out on the straight, cuddling the petrol tank with your chin on the handlebars, you can easily overtake the fastest of the micro's bikes and work your way up the field.

The back markers are fairly slow and can be a bit of a problem as they have an annoying habit of getting in the way at the worst possible moment, usually right in the middle of a bend. Touch the throttle and the back-end will slide away, but you can scrub off a bit of speed and ride round them by dabbing gingerly at the brake.

The bends aren't particularly easy, but you can see what's coming by looking at the plan view of the track at the top of the screen. Your position is shown as a large red dot, although the other riders aren't shown.

After discovering that you can't crash or go off the track, my first instinct was to hold the throttle wide open, shut my eyes and hope for the best.

I soon discovered this wasn't the best tactic, and your speed drops rapidly as you near the edge of the track or ram your bike up the exhaust of the one in front.

It's best to follow the racing line through the bends. With one eye on the speedo and one finger on the brake, swing from the outside to the in and slide back out again by snapping the throttle open as you exit the bend.

Although Crazee Rider is a fair simulation of a motorcycle race it's not intended to be accurate. It's more of a cross between an arcade game and a simulation.

Points are gained by riding round the track and passing the opposition, but you can also ride alongside the computer bikes and ram them sideways off the track to gain bonus points.

If you end the race in the first six you automatically move on to the next race. This is at a different track and it'll take a few laps to familiarise yourself with the layout.

Unfortunately, you are not awarded this luxury as it's aone lap race. If you finish any lower than sixth you're out of the championship.

Overall, Crazee Rider isanexciting game and one which is likely to become as big a hit as Overdrive. It's fast, challenging and there's plenty to keep you entertained. Thoroughly recommended.

Joanne Hutcheson