Skate Rock
Copyright/Publisher: Bubble Bus/Zig Zag Creations, Programming By: Richard Clark, Music By: Ben Dalglish, Release Year: 1986, Genre: Skateboard, Number Of Players: 1

The local skateboarders have been arguing between themselves, each one trying to prove that he's the best. So, to decide for once and for all, a sensible person has organised a competition. Ten courses have been built around the town, and the skateboardes have to complete them all within an allotted time.

To make things a little more difficult, there are eight flags dotted around each course which have to be hit before the finishing line is crossed - otherwise, the player is disqualified.

The action takes place on a panoramic view of a street, with your skateboarder in the centre of the screen. The joystick moves the skater in the direction the board is pointing, with the screen scrolling either left or right to keep up with the action. Lateral movements turn the board clockwise and anticlockwise, the setting of the 'trucks' dictating the speed of the turn.

Trucks are the wheel mountings on the underside of a skateboard, and their tightness can be set on the title screen. Hitting a kerb, grass verge, parked car, pedestrian or grating results in an upset - and the loss of one of the skater's five lives.

Flags are automatically picked up on contact, and are then displayed at the top of the screen next to a decreasing time limit. When all eight flags have been collected, the finishing line can be crossed - whereupon the time limit is turned into bonus points, and the skater is automatically promoted to the next, more difficult course.

If the action appears to have the wrong difficulty level, the time limit can be increased or decreased by using the option on the title screen. Any course can be tackled, as long as it has been completed before. Thus, the player is saved the hassle of having to complete the courses all over again just to tackle, say, the ninth course.

Julian Rignall
Although this doesn't really look anything special, its' fun to play, challenging, and pretty addictive. The backdrops aren't too bad, and the sprites are a bit of a mixed bag - some are alright, but others are laughably bad.

The sound suits the action, with various boppy tunes and jingles adding to the fun. It's marginally overpriced at eight quid, especially as there are only ten courses to complete, but it's enjoyable and is worth a look if you're a skateboarding fan.

P.S.
A fairly cheap and fun skateboarding game - this has got to be a first. Okay, so the graphics look as though they've been built with Duplo blocks - but it really is compelling. Maybe the soundtrack would have been better suited to a different game, as drum solos don't really create the surfin' atmosphere that a funky hip-hop tune would.

After a lot of play, Skate Rock, turns out to be just another race against the clock game - but it does offer many hours of entertainment, and is worth considering at the price.

GARY PENN
It has to be said that the single most striking feature of Skate Rock is its ugliness. It looks awful - which is why I was quite surprised to actually find myself enjoying it!

The controls are a little tricky to master, but with practice it becomes very playable. There's something about Skate Rock that reminds me of Paperboy, although I don't know why - out of the two, this is the cheapest and by far the most enjoyable.


INTRO SCREEN

PRESENTATION 78%
Well executed, with a useful options screen and high-score feature.
GRAPHICS 51%
The backdrops are alright, but the sprites vary from good to incredibly poor.
SOUND 58%
A couple of WeMUSIC tunes jolly along the proceedings.
HOOKABILITY 75%
Difficult to master the control method, but enjoyable nevertheless.
LASTABILITY 58%
The ten courses take some cracking, but interest may wane after completing them.
VALUE 64%
Sufficient fun to be had for eight quid.
OVERALL 66%
A rather enjoyable skateboarding game - worth a look.


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