Southern Belle (Hewson) Review | Home Computing Weekly - Everygamegoing

Home Computing Weekly

Southern Belle
By Hewson Consultants
Spectrum 48K

Published in Home Computing Weekly #123

This is pretty amazing. It's a simulation of the London-Brighton run on a 1930's steam engine, and is possibly the most complex (and presumably realistic) simulations I've yet seen.

The screen display presents you with a view from the driver's position, and the landscape as you travel along the line is displayed using line-vector graphics. You have a timetable to keep to, and the various stations along your route, and major landmarks (tunnels and bridges etc.) make. up the landscape graphics. These moving graphics are a little jerky, but very detailed, and the way that they seem to grow larger as you draw nearer is nicely done.

Controlling the train can be as simple or as complicated as you want, as there are an enormous range of control/ difficulty options for you to choose from. You can, for instance, start of on a simple training run, during which you only have to worry about the brakes and a couple of simple controls, or you can go the whole hog and take total control of the train in a variety of conditions. This means that you can start off simply, but as you become more skilled, the game can become more difficult so that it will continue to present a challenge for some time to come.

It's difficult to do justice to such a richly complex game in a short review - it's probably for the arcade enthusiast, but if you are the kind of person attracted to the complexities of simulations, then I should think that this is a must.


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