Skatin' USA (Atlantis) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing

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Skatin' USA
By Atlantis
Commodore 64/128

 
Published in Zzap #70

Skatin' USA

Horror of horrors, Superkid woke up one day to find his superpowers had gone: he had reverted to plain Tom Essex. Now who could save New York from the street gangs? Tom had the answer: he dug out his catapult and trusty old skateboard to carry on crime-fighting.

In each of six horizontally scrolling levels, Tom skates along looking for dollar bills. Ramps can be skated up to reach higher platforms. Gun-toting thugs must be avoided or shot with Tom's catapult - it has a limited amount of ammo, though. Catching a bullet or skating into a baddie reduces Tom's energy - replenished by collecting hamburgers or fruit. Collecting a banana skin increases Tom's speed!

Every time a dollar bill is found, one of the letters in Skatin' USA is lit - when all have been collected. Tom can go through the exit at the far right of the level. Extra points can be earned in the interlevel bonus section, with Tom skating to and fro on a halfpipe to collect the bonuses which appear.

As a sequel to Superkid, Skatin' USA is only marginally more sophisticated. Avoiding baddies is made more difficult by the skateboard's inertia - although it seems unfair that landing on thugs' heads costs you energy (especially when the game's cover picture shows Tom doing exactly this). Frustration is increased by having only one life. As with Superkid, there's a severe lack of variety with later levels having only different platform layouts - no new features whatsoever.