Virgin Atlantic Challenge Game (Virgin) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action

Virgin Atlantic Challenge Game
By Runstop
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #15

Virgin Atlantic Challenge Game

Remember Richard Branson's toy boat that he whizzed across the Atlantic in record time? Well, it won't come as any surprise that it's popped up as a computer game, probably to help pay back the cost of the boat. The game makes Richard the sole crew member; you have to control him to get the boat across the pond.

You must do the jobs of the whole crew on the voyage: check the radar, stay on course, avoid hazards, keep the engine running, run your business using the telex, set the speed, and feed yourself. All the areas of the boat are shown on just two screens. You get at each piece of equipment by standing in front of it and pressing the Fire button.

You have to follow a planned route across the sea in order to rendezvous with fuel tankers which refuel your boat to keep it going. In order to keep to this route you -in the cockpit - must steer along the bearing you're given by the radar screen. You also have to steer around icebergs and fishing boats that are constantly getting in your way.

Virgin Atlantic Challenge Game

While you're busy zigzagging across the ocean the engine temperature and stress will be building up. If you let them rise too far, the boat will break up. You'll either have to keep going at a steady pace or give them time to rest occasionally.

You have to look after your health and the business as well on this trip, using the galley and a telex machine. At the galley, you are gradually stoked up with food, allowing you to move faster around the boat. The telex will ask you a question about the business: you must answer yes or no. Get the question right and you could make some money, wrong and you'll lose a packet.

Most of your time is spent racing from one part of the ship to another as the computer informs you of each alert. This gets repetitive after a while, and most annoying when one slight delay can sink the boat and end your game. There's quite a long-term challenge in completing the route at all, never mind in record time, so that should keep you plugging away.

Virgin Atlantic Challenge Game

On the whole, I think the game consists mostly of hype and publicity, but the tough task redeems it somewhat.

Second Opinion

What's happened to my crew? Probably fed up with the whole idea, leaving me to control rudder, maintain the engine room and a whole fleet of mundane tasks. On-screen action is about as exciting as a bad day's fishing - in short, not very.

It's all too easy to die: while carrying out maintenance on the engine, you will undoubtedly strike an iceberg; or you will be avoiding the iceberg, only to find the engine overheats and bang, you sink!

If you have seen all the action on the television or read about it in the papers, leave this program alone and try your hand at fishing.

First Day Target Score


Green Screen View

It looks all sea-green to me.

Good News

P. You're constantly on the go, getting between locations.
P. It's very tough to complete.

Bad News

N. Actions get very repetitive.
N. Too easy to die without much notice.
N. There's never much activity on screen.
N. Not as exciting as the real thing

Bob Wade

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