Following on from the acclaimed BMX Simulator is the first of the Codemasters' Plus range. It offers the player the choice of two skill levels - Normal and Expert - set over three different styles of course: Dirt-biking, Quarry Racing and Desert Riding.
From the title screen, the player has the option to start the present courses of load new ones from a separate cassette. Pressing the space bar cycles through any combination of human/computer opponents, allowing up to four participants (two joystick, two keyboard).
The action is displayed from overhead, an information panel below showing the riders' names, times and laps completed. Races take the form of increasingly hazardous combinations of bumps, burns and ramps set against a decreasing time limit.
The Expert version accommodates definable tyre and chain-wheel sizes, a tougher time limit and rider collision detection. At the end of any race an action replay can be accessed, with a slow motion option.
The presentation of this mid-price game is excellent: a wide array of options, definable controls, a neat winning sequence, replay and slow motion features. It's compelling to play, particularly with more than one human opponent, because of the well graded difficulty levels and competitive element.
The graphics are sharply detailed, with varied backdrops supporting neat 3D, and the music is appropriately sharp and bouncy. Its faults are those shared with its predecessor: an awkward control method, becoming 'stuck' in the landscape, and one mistake costing you the race.
If you've got the original, you may find the differences too small for the asking price; if not, then it's well worth a look.
Pro BMX Sim can claim to have the same high quality backdrops as its predecessor, and a similar level of playability. Unfortunately, it has also kept some of the more irritating traits of the earlier game; the one that stands out particularly is that cylists are always so mixed up after a crash that they turn their bikes in the wrong direction and frequently steer themselves straight back into an obstacle! At least you can get away with driving through your opponents this time.
In spite of these frustrations, the package of advanced game and extra tracks represents good value for money - especially to any sets of Commodore-owning quadruplets.
Good instructions and hints, clear display, simultaneous four-player option, speedy multi-load and free poster.
Occasionally weak sprites set against neat and colourful backdrops.
Appealing title tune, but purely functional in-game effects.
The competitive element and variety of courses prove challenging.
The four-player option rescues the often frustrating gameplay.
A beautifully presented and highly enjoyable racing simulation marred by slightly awkward controls.