This game is named after the most difficult move in skateboarding and is a brilliant coin-op. Have the computer conversions captured the spirit of the arcade game?
Well, I'm sorry to have to say that the versions we've seen don't quite cut it. The graphics and sound on the Spectrum/Amstrad versions are OK but the gameplay seems to be slightly laid back - no real urgency is injected into the action - unlike the coin-op.
720 Degrees is set in Skate City and you play the part of a likely lad aiming to become the king of the streets. You have to earn extra cash to buy more radical skate-gear by competing in the various competitions held in skate parks.
Competitions like the slalom park, the jump park, the ramp park, or the simple downhill park. But to get in you need tickets and to earn tickets you have to pick up money which, oddly enough, litters the streets of Skate City.
The main currency here is skill on the board and not the folding green stuff it seems.
You begin with three tickets which allow you access to the parks. Travel to them through the busy streets of skate city - dodging muscle men, cyclists and odd folk piloting those one wheeled bike thingies.
You have a limited time to reach each park before the killer bees appear. Killer bees? Yup, these insects are the scourge of Skate City they chase you - and if you don't make the park before they get you, it's the end of the road.
Not so difficult in the earlier stages of the game when you've still got tickets - but if you've not got enough cash to buy a ticket and the bees are after you the doormen at the park entrances aren't at all sympathetic!
So, like your mum always tells you, be careful with your cash. It's not so much good buying all that flash skateboard gear when you can't afford a ticket to the park, is it?
But when you have got enough pennies for both, here's a run down on what the extra equipment will do for you.
Shoes let you jump higher, knee-pads help you recover board makes you faster on the streets and a new helmet helps you become more adventurous on the ramps. These items can be purchased from any of the skate shops dotted around Skate City.
Control of the board is fairly easy - easier than Skate Or Die, that's for sure. But it doesn't give you much of a feel of being on a board - much too stable for a start!
The park sequences are again fairly straightforward - and after twenty levels of basically the same thing I reckon that you might find the appeal of the game wearing a bit thin.
I've only seen the Speccy and Amstrad versions so far - the Amstrad has the edge on graphics, but there's hardly any sound on either version. The C64 demo I saw wasn't playable.