Bike jumping has been a popular thing to simulate in the past and this latest offering, reportedly designed by Alan Sugar, gives two different views of the jump. It starts with a 3D approach to the ramp and then switches to a side view as the bike flies across a row of buses.
You begin with five lives and can attempt 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 buses depending on which level is selected. Once underway a forward view from the bike is presented with the handlebars and the road ahead visible. Off in the distance is the ramp with the buses behind it.
The instruments at the bottom of the screen consist of a small bike replica to indicate your sitting angle on it. your hands on the handlebars, a rev counter, speedometer, clock and gear indicator. To lower wind resistance you should lean forward on the approach, increasing speed. As you accelerate your hand twists the throttle on the handlebars and the bike automatically goes through the gears. All this has to be completed within the time limit - but this is very generous.
Along the run-up crosswinds are encountered, particularly on higher levels, and you have to steer against them so that the bike hits the ramp straight, otherwise you slam into the side of the buses. Once on the ramp the screen switches to a side view of the ramp and the buses. Here you have to time leaning back on the bike to get maximum impetus off the ramp.
Once in the air you have to change position on the bike so as not to tumble out of control and crash. If the bike clears'the buses you have to land on the other side either flat or slightly on the back wheel but never on the front. If you can land on the down ramp you get a 1000 point bonus, otherwise the score is 100 for each bus cleared.
The scrolling as you fly across the buses is very smooth although there's only the bike and buses on screen. Crashing leaves a crumpled, smouldering heap of wreckage. It's definitely possible to clear 40 buses on level eight but getting over 45 would be a superhuman effort.
The graphics were quite nice, and I liked seeing the hand twist round to change gears. But that was really the visual high point - the buses and the background were both pretty dull. The sound started with a bright intro tune which soon became boring game noises. The real trouble with the game, though, is that there isn't enough to do.
P. Skill is needed when 'flying' the bike.
P. The combination of 3D and side view is quite novel.
P. The scrolling is very smooth.
N. It's not a true 3D game.
N. Jumping buses gets uninteresting.
N. Not much to do except accelerate and move backward and forward on the bike.
N. Trying to hit the down ramp is the only lasting test.