The latest arcade conversion from US Gold continues its current improvement which started with Gauntlet. Games like Super Cycle and Leaderboard have been a distinct improvement on previous poor efforts so let's hope the trend continues.
Metrocross is set on a chequered pathway that scrolls right to left across the screen. You control a man who has to run along the path trying to avoid the obstacles peppered along it. There are 24 levels and the path on each has to be completed within a time limit. Counters at the bottom of the screen tell you how far you have left to go and how much time there is.
If you move to the right of the screen you run faster but have less warning of oncoming obstacles. There are rolling coke cans, hurdles, pools of water, rats and more. They have varying effects if you hit them: they flatten you, trip you up or slow you down, but all of them cost time.
You can run round obstacles or jump over them. You also get help from various other objects on the route. Green cans will speed you up; jumping on a blue can will temporarily stop the timer. Hopping on a skateboard is fun: you can roll right over some obstacles. Most spectacular are the springboards, which catapult you forward down the route.
The scrolling isn't very smooth but you don't notice it much. The graphics are good; backgrounds vary on each route. The gameplay is demanding and from route five onward things get very tough. It will present a good long-term challenge and is pleasingly addictive.
An hilarious game. The accompanying soundtrack and wonderfully animated character make this a real giggle. It's great fun to trip on a hurdle and go reeling. Better is to get flattened by a coke can. An enjoyable came that will bring a smile to your face.
Complete Round 5.
P. Detailed and colourful backgrounds and features.
P. Scrolling is jerky.
P. Compulsive music plays constantly.
Grab Factor 78%
P. Tracks are initially easy but get tougher.
P. Good variety of obstacles and features.
Staying Power 77%
P. 24 tracks that get very tough.
N. Fail a track and you've got to start all over again.
A good conversion with many original touches.