Amstrad Computer User

Skate Or Die

Author: Adrian Pumphrey
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #57

Skate Or Die

Pit your skills against spoilt brat Lester, the boy begging for a good thrashing. But beware. Do not let your anger get the better of you on these testing tracks. Otherwise Lester will have the last laugh.

The guy who owns the skate shop is a bit of a grouch but that is no difficulty. The real problem is his son Lester. The obnoxious little brat is begging for a good thrashing, so you decide to play him at his own game - the skateboard. It is a pity Lester is so much better than you.

In the skate shop you can log in for the competition or view the current high scores. You can leave the shop either to practise the events individually or go for broke and challenge Lester to an all-out, four-wheeled war.

Skate Or Die

Once outside the shop in practice mode you see a small street plan, each street branching to a different event.

The events range from the self expression of the freestyle ramp to the humbling experience of the pool joust. Most of the events take place on a static background and are very welldrawn but two of the events scroll and, to speed things a little, the colour has been kept to a minimum - black and white. The most unusual feature of the game is its complete lack of sound - an unusual move but it gives the program that extra touch of speed and playability.

There are two ramp events which take place in an elongated half-pipe. One requires brute force as you waggle your joystick to gain a few feet in the high jump event. On the freestyle ramp you have ten passes to perform the most outlandish tricks before the unbelieving eyes of the judges. The tricks you perform depend on the angle of the joystick on take-off and the number of times you pumped the board while travelling the ramp.

Skate Or Die

You can start with the simple tricks, staying on your board and travelling a few feet into the air and, when you gain a little confidence, you can go for the rotates and handstands.

Although you gain more points for the trickier manoeuvres you have a greater chance of bouncing your skater on his head a few times as he travels back down the ramp the difficult way.

The joust is an event in a class of its own and brings to mind the legendary times when knights fought on the fields of honour.

Skate Or Die

Taking your boiling stick you attempt to unboard your rival as you pass each other in the pool.

It is possible to delay for a short time at the rim of the pool or even slide your board along the top of the pool either to align yourself for the attack or avoid the oncoming attack. After five passes the boffing stick is passed to the other player and the first person with three knockdowns wins the joust.

The final two events, downhill jam and race, both feature scrolling action. In the race you must traverse the building site, leaping over the barricades and hurtling down the pipe; avoid the obstacles at all costs as you cannot afford the time to pick yourself from the floor.

In the jam you race against Lester through the back streets, creating a little mayhem as you go. Kicking over the trash cans can be fun but kicking Lester is even better. Skating into walls is not such a good idea but if you do nothing else, avoid the wire fence. Passing through this obstacle has a similar effect to an egg slicer. Each event is well put together and the desire to thrash Lester will have you returning for more, time and time again.

Adrian Pumphrey

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