BMX Simulator (Codemasters) Review | ZX Computing - Everygamegoing

ZX Computing

BMX Simulator
By Codemasters
Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in ZX Computing #35

A budget BMX racing game that's fun from start to finish

BMX Simulator

While BMX racing may not have the same status of glamour as motorcycle or grand prix racing, when it comes to computer simulations BMX comes into its own. Formula one racing simulations are often a bit of a let down, your speedometer may be saying 240mph but the race action doesn't reflect it, but with BMX racing, a simulation can get closer to the real thing and the intricacy and skill involved required to negotiate the course make it ideal for those who want to use their joystick for more than mindless zapping.

BMX Simulator is an excellent game that is surely destined to become a budget hit. There are seven different courses, seen from an overhead view and these offer a multitude of daunting features becoming harder with each successive track. To qualify for the next track, you must complete the course within a given time limit - this is fairly generous for the first course but becomes more stringent with track two.

There are options for one or two player games. When playing the computer rider it's gratifying to find that he's very fallible and wipes out fairly often, though he does have the advantage in that, whenever you collide with him, you are always the one to go flying. Crashing is illustrated by a nice animated sequence where your rider and bike part company in spectacular fashion. Restarting the race can be a problem with a delicate touch needed to steer yourself clear of the object you've run into, otherwise you crash again... and again...

The two player game brings out the full potential of the simulation and most importantly there are options to play with two joysticks (Kempston/Sinclair) this was a wise decision as anyone playing the keyboard option would be at a real disadvantage. Two options have been built in to pep up the after-race debate on who cut up who on the final bend; there is an action replay function which will playback the race, or, if you are really into detailed analysis, you can also watch the whole race again in slow motion. I'm not sure how often these would be used after the novelty has worn off but they are clever additions nonetheless.

Above all, BMX Simulator is very realistic and the bike reacts to the terrain exactly as it would on a real track - the ramps, turns, bumps and water splashes are not just there for decoration, they can be used for your advantage.

BMX Simulator will appeal to all those who like race games even if the idea of BMX racing seems a bit tame. Everything about the game's presentation is highly professional from the graphics to course design - another game to add to Codemasters' increasingly impressive track record.

A Monster Hit.