Trailblazer (Gremlin) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing


By Gremlin
Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #20

Weird but wonderful split-screen racing game


Ever fancied racing across the mystic pathways of space through unknown galaxies, boldly blazing a trail where no other trail has been blazed before? Well, now's your chance...

Trailblazer is a three dimensional, one or two player, split-screen race game in which you must travel as far as you can along a straight spacial pathway. The pathway is split into twenty one different sections; each must be completed within a given time limit. If the clock runs down before you get to the finishing post, the game terminates. However, if you manage to pass the post in time, extra time is added to your total allowing you to tackle the next section of the track. There are no other objects on the course to worry about (only the other racer if two players are playing). It's just you versus the clock.

The racing tracks are made up of many metal slabs, although not all the slabs are of the same metallic composition. Each metal is a different colour and has a different effect on the racing craft.

The Trailblazer race craft have been specially designed for space path racing and look rather like footballs. They stick to the surface of the path as they zoom down it, but can move left or right with a push of the joystick. Pushing forward or pulling back on the joystick makes the craft accelerate or decelerate, and pressing the fire button makes it jump a short distance.

There are two main racing options presented on the title screen! Course Practice gives one or two players the chance to race over any three of the path sections. You are given an unlimited supply of jumps and with 99 seconds to complete each course. Arcade Trailblazer can be played either on your own or against another player. However, you are only given 30 seconds to complete each course and a limited supply of jumps, so when you run out, that's it - you can't jump!


Gremlin really have proved themselves over the past year and Trailblazer won't tarnish their reputation in the slightest. This version is the best of the lot, with the two player option making the races very exciting and exhilarating. I must admit, I tend to play the practice mode more than the arcade mode as it's a great opportunity to see the various levels, some of which are very devious. Overall, this one of the most addictive and challenging games I've played in ages.


Two player race games are always great fun to play, especially when they are as good as this. Trailblazer is a simple game with little variety, but it's very playable. Some of the courses are too frustrating and I found the one player mode monotonous at times, but on the whole Trailblazer is a competent release which should appeal to anyone who would love the opportunity to thrash the pants off a friend in a two player game.


Trailblazer is a loose cross between Pitstop II and Bounder, and has taken the addictive qualities of both. The object of the game is really simple, but actually getting to the end of each course within the allotted time limit takes a lot of skill and practice. The graphics are really effective and colourful, and the whole thing plays superbly, especially in two player mode. If you're after an unusual and immensely addictive race game, then look no further than this, it's great.


Presentation 96%
Suitable title screen and several functional options.

Graphics 89%
Simple, but very effective.

Sound 80%
Jolly title screen tune and a few spot FX.

Hookability 96%
Highly unusual and compelling.

Lastability 92%
Lacks variety, but the two player game holds long term interest.

Value For Money 89%
Pricey but worth it.

Overall 93%
An excellent variation on the race game theme.