Skate Crazy (Gremlin) Review | Your Sinclair - Everygamegoing

Your Sinclair

Skate Crazy
By Gremlin
Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Your Sinclair #32

Skate Crazy

I read somewhere that an infinite number of monkeys, given an infinite amount of time (and the same number of typewriters), could, purely by chance and the law of averages, reproduce the entire works of William Shakespeare - word for word! As a little experiment I'm going to leave my pet monkey, Pippo, in charge of this review. He's got until I get back from the sea-side tonight! Byeeee!

Hello, I'm Pippo, and I'm typing at random. ('We know' - lots of astute readers). I've seen my master playing this game, and I'm going to tell you all how good it is.

As you might have gathered by the title, Skate Crazy involves you in the crazy world of roller skating. You control a little chap called Freddy who has, along with some of his chums, taken over a disused multi-storey car park in order to hold a grand roller-skate competition! There are four courses (levels), and the general idea is to perform a variety of stunts whist accurately following a pre-set route in the shortest possible time. This will impress the four judges, which is quite important actually, as only high scores will allow you to progress up the levels.

Each course takes place on a very large playing area, which is a beautifully smooth eight way scroller (monochrome graphics), viewed from above. On the ground are numerous white arrows, which designate the route you have to take. To either side of these arrows are items such as boxes and tyres, which will knock you out for a few seconds and drain your energy if you collide with them.

There are loads of other hazards strewn about the course - oil patches, sand patches, glass, potholes and much more besides. These all help to fall up your score if not avoided.

From the moment of starting a particular course, a timer will begin to tick down, but passing between sets of flags positioned in various places on the track will bounce the time back up to maximum setting. Failure to reach these flags in time will result in the loss of one of your four lives.

Also scattered around are ramps. Jump these at speed and, while airborne, rotate your joystick clockwise or anti-clockwise (or indeed both), to perform aerial pirouettes. Mind you, if you're silly enough to land backwards, the joystick controls get all wibbled up. My master cursed several times at this point. Mind you, in later levels I believe that some 'flag-points' have to be negotiated in a bottom-first direction, so I think my master would be wise to practice this art!

Anyway, let's assume you've managed to negotiate the entire course having successfully avoided all the 'avoid things', collected all the 'collect' things and pulled several hair-raising 'stunts' out of your 'stunt-bag', the four judges will raise their score cards - which in this hypothetical case would probably be four 'nine's' - allowing progression to the next level. (My master thought he was doing well when he got an average of three, and he has the audacity to call ME a stupid chimpanzee!!)

With its lovely graphics, beautiful animation and frenetic and addictive gameplay, I think I will have to dosh out a pretty high score for Skate Crazy - and I think I had better do it pretty quickly, as my luck must be running out and I'll soon, no doubt, be typing absolute gibberi%66@9?<33dy m LK#b.

A beautifully presented and very tricky roller-skating avoid 'em/collect 'em and do lots of stunts-'em-up. Great stuff.

Duncan MacDonald

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