Sinclair User

Brian Jacks Superstar Challenge

Author: Chris Bourne
Publisher: Martech
Machine: Spectrum 48K

Published in Sinclair User #39

Brian Jacks' Superstar Challenge

A NAKED ATTEMPT to cash in on the popularity of Daley Thompsons Decathlon, Brian Jacks' Superstar Challenge pits your joystick-powered body against he-man Brian Jacks in eight events drawn from the TV sports series in which athletes compete at a range of sports.

Each side of the tape contains four events. Those divide into two types. There are the ones like canoeing or cycling where you have to pump the joystick left and right as hard as you can, and there are others like archery or squat thrusts where skill at judging when to fire or change direction is paramount.

The animation is poor and only occupies a small part of the screen. The races are particularly disappointing as the competitors barely move at all and stay in the centre of the screen.

The football event where you must dribble round four cones and then shoot at a goalkeeper we found unplayable and totally unrealistic. The other events bear some relation to their originals, but squat thrusts and arm dips are not the most exciting of activities to watch or perform, in the sweaty flesh or on screen.

It is fairly easy to beat Brian on the early levels of the game, and doubtful whether many would wish to continue to higher levels to receive their thrashing. You'll have more fun drinking glucose and pumping iron all day.

Chris Bourne

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