Neighbours
Copyright/Publisher: Impulze/Zeppelin, Coding By: I.Copeland, Graphics By: David Taylor,
Music By: Adam GilmoreRelease Year: 1901, Genre: Skateboard, Number Of Players: 1 to 4

The soap that's done more to damage British pop than Jive Bunny, been condemned by the Tories and made Australia almost trendy (despite Rolf Harris!) has finally been converted to the C64. When conversion began, Neighbours ruled the roost of Aussie soaps, but after endless wranglers with the BBC most of the good characters have left and even Young Doctors seems more hip!

In the game you play the part of Scott Robinson and his skateboard, in a wacky race against a choice of past and present Neighbours characters around various locations in Erinsborough. Opponents include Charlene who has tuned up a Go-Kart from Jim Robinson's garage, Mike Young on another skateboard, Henry in his souped-up Tractor Lawnmower, and sneaky Matt Robinson who's borrowed Mike's motorbike.

Popularity stakes
The aim of the game is to keep Scott's popularity high, whilst reaching the highest possible race position. A popularity Meter incorporated in a large Neighbours logo at the bottom of the screen enables you to keep a check on what the viewing audience think of Scott.

To increase your popularity it's good idea to pick up pieces of rubbish, but you decrease your progression to the next. If you successfully complete a race you simply do the same course in reverse - there's only one race track!

Good neighbours!
Hazards to watch out for are Mrs Mangel waving her rolling pin, Des pulling out into the road without looking where he's going, Todd's radio-controlled car causing havoc in the street, an escaped kangaroo and many more. It's well worth knowing that by positioning the cursor over the kangaroo in the Selection Screen and pressing fire you eliminate the hazards, which may help while learning to master the spinning skateboard.

Scott is controlled via joystick movement that results in the skateboard spinning to the left or right. It's fairly difficult to begin with and even when you've got the hang of it there's no real enjoyment in negotiating the race course.

To enjoy this game you need a superb imagination as the graphics are inaccurate and bear no resemblance to the Aussie soap. There's no thought to the laws of perspective (ie space behind fences) and unrecognisable sprites in brash colours are standard for a budget game, not full price. If the game wasn't in a Neighbours package it's unlikely you'd associate the monotonous gameplay with the TV soap at all. (Or perhaps you would!)

Phil
Here it is at last, the computer conversion of our friends at Ramsay St. It all starts with that infuriating theme tune ringing in your ears. In fact this suits the game very well... it being equally tedious. It's graphically embarrassing, and is so predictable to play, you'd probably rather watch the real thing!

After battling with the awkward control of ol' 'Dono', you progress through frustration, despair and eventually boredom as the game goes on. Be warned: by playing this you could develop violent tendencies towards your 64 - watch out.

Zeppelin have produced plenty of truly excellent budget games, unfortunately this is dire at any price and bears exceedingly little relationship to the soap itself. Save yourself and your machinery by buying a decent game and sticking on a Neighbous logo yourself.


INTRO SCREEN

PRESENTATION 31%
Choice of obstacles on/off and number of opponents.
GRAPHICS 35%
Unrecognisable characters in brash colours. Race course is basic.
SOUND 44%
The familiar old Neighbours tune as an intro, but in-game sound is very sparse.
HOOKABILITY 33%
Skateboard is difficult to master and gameplay is dull.
LASTABILITY 28%
The lack of variety will slowly drive you mad.
OVERALL 31%
Come back Rolf, all is forgiven!


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