Amstrad Computer User


Super Scramble Simulator

Author: Steve Brazier
Publisher: Gremlin
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

 
Published in Amstrad Computer User #58

Super Scramble Simulator

Getting on the bike is easy... Staying on it is not.

Most of us have watched at least one motorbike scramble. Many of us may have wished we could participate. We know it is not so easy as it looks: we know it is a very expensive hobby, yet the small boy within us always hankers for that chance.

It was thus with excitement that I loaded the new release from Gremlin, the Super Scramble Simulator. This reallife simulator lets you tackle fifteen gruelling terrains, over dirt tracks, up hills, through water and even over cars and lorries.

Super Scramble Simulator

Sadly the game does not match the real thing it claims to simulate. Starting over a blue dirt track the course is soon mastered. Having discovered how to rev the engine and move into first gear the job is largely done. Keeping at full speed in bottom gear the job is largely done. Keeping at full speed in bottom gear takes you safely over the whole course except for one tricky obstacle at the bottom of one of the hills. The time limit is large so there is no need for higher gears. The hills are very steep with a 45 percent gradient but keeping up the revs in first gear ensures you have no problems.

The obstacle is navigated with a flick of the bike while in midair to ensure the back wheel lands first. Control is poor; wheelies can be pulled but holding one is almost impossible. When you try to lift the back wheel you are left in the lap of the gods as to whether it will rise or not.

When things go wrong you are left feeling dissatisfied: there is no prior warning that the biker is in difficulty. There are no graphics to depict a crash: the screen freezes with a simple message "You crashed on your front wheel... Penalty 7 seconds". Then off you go again, not much the wiser about the error in your ways.

Super Scramble Simulator

The joystick controls the revs, changing gear, braking, moving left and right and the lifting of both wheels. Typical of the program is that, even if you are travelling on a straight, level piece of track, on reaching maximum speed you are given a crash message. It is very frustrating.

Perhaps there are some experts who will be able to master the crossing of the upright tree stumps: my stumbling fingers could not perform the task. I had more success crossing the rocky hillsides, the trick being to keep the speed within a very narrow range: too much and the hike crashes because of excessive speed, too little and it stalls.

Plenty of time and effort has gone into the programming of the sound and graphics but the gameplay does not match.

Steve Brazier

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