Star Runner
By Codemasters
Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Crash #41

Star Runner

Here's your chance to develop interplanetary athlete's foot, by representing Earth in the Olympic Games - one century in the future. In this far off contest the traditional Marathon has been replaced by Star Running, a distance event set on a floating space platform. You are Earth's champion, and represent the planet against the cream of alien athletes.

The Star Run is a race of no fixed distance - the runner who travels furthest accumulates the most points, and thus wins. The score is shown at the bottom of the screen.

Your character moves automatically, with your task being to guide him left and right, and make him stop and jump as necessary. Jumping allows time wasting obstacles to be avoided - open pits trip, some surfaces cause slow running, fire pits return you down the course and teleport pads take you even further. A continual update of your course position is displayed at the top of the screen, with a flashing message displayed on reaching the half-way point.

Star Runner

There is a specified time limit for each of the six infinitely repeating levels, with the time remaining shown at the bottom left. Crossing the finish line allows the next stage to be reached, and extra time is gained by picking up the clocks which are found en route.


Control keys: S left, X right, H stop, SPACE jump
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Use of colour: mainly monochromatic playing area with colourful front end
Graphics: basic, but strangely pretty
Sound: uninspired spot effects
Skill levels: one
Screens: six


What a totally useless concept. Let's face it, running around and jumping over hazards isn't exactly an exciting game-plan to begin with, so the action could hardly be very compelling. The thing is that Star Runner has been very well implemented, it looks slick and is adequately presented, giving the overall impression of being a neat little game - and if there was more content it would be. Sadly, in its present form it's about as compelling as watching paint dry… stay well clear.


As with all Codemasters games, Star Runner contains some very slick presentation - but the content is very thin. What kind of an Olympic event are you competing in? One without opponents, but with fires to jump over, and holes to fall in! Not really in the Olympic spirit, is it?

The perspective is very misleading, and the childish comments at the end of the screens ('Would a pair of crutches help?' for instance) are boring. A totally unaddictive game, for which even two pounds is too much.

Ben StonePaul Sumner

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