Personal Computer News

By Microsphere
Spectrum 48K

Published in Personal Computer News #058


Wheelie's plain packaging belies an excellent game.

You drive a powerful Zedexaki 500 bike through a maze of tunnels in search of the slumbering ghostrider, whom you wake and then race back to the start, avoiding the bouncing hedgehogs. You control a small motor cycle and rider that stay centre-screen, with the passing background scrolling left and right. The tunnels have ramps leading up and down onto other roads. As you see only a part of the maze you've no idea whether you're heading towards a brick wall, a patch of ice... or the bouncing hedgehogs. At the foot of the screen is your MPH, RPM and how much fuel is left in your tank. This is replenished by riding through the gas signs that appear.

There's a high-score record, and you have four lives. Further hazards are cars and buses to jump over, and humps in the road which require doing a wheelie.


Once through the first screen you're given a codeword to enable progress to tougher levels, involving kangaroos and birds - all well versed in karate.

The main attraction of Wheelie though is undoubtedly the excellent, if a little gruesome, graphics - the biker parts company from his bike in a most realistic manner! The speed of every manoeuvre has to be just right, with ice patches needing to be driven through very slowly to avoid spinning. The sound effects too are first class; even the little putt-putt noise as you run out of fuel. The maze is frustratingly well worked-out. Usually you know if there's a hazard then there's likely to be gas beyond it, but just occasionally you'll crawl through two ice patches and duck under a hedgehog only to find yourself in a dead end!

With a different maze generated for each play, this is an exceptionally addictive game.

Geof Wheelwright

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