Neighbours? What a silly idea for a game, eh? I mean, in the telly programme there are
no monsters (unless you include Mrs Mangle), no supercharged laser guns, precious
little opportunity for raucous beat-'em-up action and no heavy weapons. Where's the
game? What on earth is the blimmi' point?
Publisher Impulze have obviously realised that there's not much 64 action to be eked
out of Ramsay Street unless they stage a special event around the suburban tarmac.
And guess what they've come up with - a race... Well come on, it was either that or a
game of swimming pool one touch cricket.
You control Jason (the one who went on to star in countless spooky Friday the 13th
fimls) who rides a skateboard, and it's your job to race against some of the local
lads around various places in Erinsborough.
There's Henry (who for once has had the decency to wear a shirt), Matt (who always
has a bad time with his girlfriend) and Mike (who always has a bad time with everybody).
It's simple joystick stuff in much the same fashion as Back to the Future II. Each of
the opposing characters drives a cute little machine (go-kart, scooter or bicycle) and
it's up to you to skate around the close, avoiding potholes, incidental people (like
Mrs Mangle with her brolly) and a bunch of animals who happen to be running loose (
inevitably, they're kangaroos).
To win you must negotiate your way around a series of lanterns which have been laid
out by community-type-person Harold Bishop. If you go through them, the ligths go out.
If you fail you can't finish the race, and it's you who goes out. This would be a shame
because, if you win a race, you get to have another go in another part of the district,
like the school, or Ansell's Corner.
There are four courses in all, and each one is tougher than the last. You can tweak
each course to your own taste by adding or taking away obstacles and opponents, or by
adjusting your board's speed.
If you bump into something or someone, you fall over. This not only costs time, but
also energy. You get energy back by picking up bits of litter that are, um, well,
littered around the place.
And that's about the sum of it. So is this a good game? Well, it's okay in a naff
sort of way. Like in Viz, they've merely taken some of the characters and bunged them into
a spurious race. But unlike Viz there's very little evidence of actual character here.
Scott doesn't for instance have any speech-bubbles that say "strewth" or whatever it
is they say. Maybe this is no bad thing, but if you're going to have a licence, you might
just as well use it.
Technically it's smooth enough, and there's a nice jingle to go with the game. As a
skateboard race game it's all good fun, and pretty darned addictive, but you'd find it
hard to really justify the asking price . The best thing to do with this is buy it as
a birthday pressie for a Neighbours fan in the family, and then hide away and play it