After 720', the trendy craze of skateboarding reappears in Firebird's Skateboard Kidz.
Pushing his foot against the ground to move, the skateboarder travels through a vertically scrolling, isometric 3-D cityscape. Jumping and negotiating ramps, you can collect the letters S, K, A, T and E. If all five are obtained, you're rewarded with a piece of a bronze, silver or gold skateboard.
In the 'old days' nice kids collected garbage for infirm old ladies, but things have changed. Next comes a street scene, where the kid collects garbage to hand in to an old lady who gives him a bonus in return. We're not told what she does with the rubbish.
Cats and other enemies patrol the pavements ready to knock your kid down. If you get through the street intact, you can race against another kool dude, dodging various obstacles, in a bid to be the greatest Skateboard Kid in town.
Despite its gimmicky title, Skateboard Kidz turns out to be a competent little game with some decent 3-D graphics and plenty of sound (though the in after a while). Control of the skateboarder is very simple, but with so many obstacles around, progress certainly isn't easy.
Judging the right speed of approach to tackle the ramps is particularly tricky at first. Once you've mastered the jumping technique, however, collection of the letters does get easier. I still can't figure out why an old lady should want a bag of garbage, though. For two quid, Skateboard Kidz is a playable little game, although its testability is doubtful.
PHIL … 76%
THE ESSENTIALS Joysticks: Kempston, Cursor, Sinclair Sound: three equally annoying in-game tunes plus digitised speech Options: definable keys. Choice of three pieces of music
'Skateboard Kidz is a fun game to keep you occupied for some time. The background graphics are quite effective though they're let down by the sloppy main character (he has a square head!) and the monochrome. The scrolling is smooth but does slow down when you change direction, though generally the animation isn't bad. The only almost unbearable feature is the sound; a grating tune accompanies the title screen and there's more droning all through the game. It would have been better if they'd just stuck to the sound effects. Skateboard Kidz will brighten up a rainy afternoon but I doubt it will have much lasting appeal.'