Amstrad Action

The Race Against Time

Author: GBH
Publisher: Codemasters
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #34

The Race Against Time

Two things make this game stand out before you even open the box. The first is that all profits from it will go to Sport Aid '88, and the other is that it has the music from the Peter Gabriel track Games Without Frontiers as the soundtrack. It may not be the first charity game, but it is the first to have Gabriel's music on it. Charity games in the past have always been re-releases of old titles or compilations, but this time the game has been written specifically for the charity by the Oliver Twins.

Play begins in a relief camp in Sudan where you are holding a torch. Your first task is to find the airport, which is easy, and then jet off to one of the six continents. It's an arcade adventure in which you have to raise a flag and light a flame in all the continents.

It's not so simple to complete because you have various problems to solve to get to the destinations. Don't get wet under any circumstances, because the flame will be extinguished and the game will end.

The Race Against Time

Each of the 100 locations is well drawn, but unfortunately there's not much colour used. Animation of the sprites is good and there's no flicker. As far as sound effects go, they are simple and ineffective. As for the speech digitising, either the Oliver Twins are getting better at it or I'm getting used to it, because it was easier to understand this time. The less said about the Games Without Frontiers soundtrack the better, because it's only just identifiable as the same track!

The problems seemed easier to solve than those you normally get in arcade adventures, but that's not really a bad point because some of the problems in recent games have been very illogical. Fans of arcade adventures will find plenty to keep them occupied.

Second Opinion

I don't really think you can class this as an arcade adventure because there are relatively few problems to solve and it's more a matter of exploration than anything else. However, bung in a tight time limit and you've got a competent game that induces panic gameplay.

First Day Target Score

The Race Against Time

Raise three flags or light three flames.

Green Screen View

No problems.


Graphics 64%
P. Well animated sprites and detailed scenery.
N. Not much colour.

The Race Against Time

Sonics 43%
P. Digitised speech.
N. Games Without Frontiers is terrible.

Grab Factor 54%
P. Lots of exploration to do early on.
N. Only having one life is enormously frustrating.

Staying Power 64%
P. Plenty of problems to solve.
P. 100 locations to explore.

Overall 68%
It's all in a good cause.


Other Amstrad CPC464 Game Reviews By GBH

  • Knight Orc Front Cover
    Knight Orc
  • Impossible Mission II Front Cover
    Impossible Mission II
  • Gothik Front Cover
  • Live And Let Die Front Cover
    Live And Let Die
  • Shackled Front Cover
  • Rolling Thunder Front Cover
    Rolling Thunder
  • The Flintstones Front Cover
    The Flintstones
  • Driller Front Cover
  • I, Ball II Front Cover
    I, Ball II
  • Rampage Front Cover