Sport Of Kings
Copyright/Publisher: Mastertronic/Sculptured Software Created By:
David Barbour, Release Year: 1986, Genre: Horse Sports, Number Of Players: 1 to 5

The latest release from MAD allows up to five players to partake in a simulated day at the races. First of all the players decide whether the state of the course, weights of jockeys and distances of the courses are to affect the outcome of each race.

Also, the number of horses running in the season is set at either 25, 52 or 72. The main screen features aight icons which allow the player to display details about the the next race, study each player's current financial situation, read the form book, bet and start the race.

The other three icons allow players to join or leave a current game, load or save the form books and accounts and print out a form or racing information. Race information gives a list of runners and their odds and form cards give a list of the performances of each horse.

At the start there are no form cards, so it's useful to run a few races and build up a record. Bets are placed either each way, straight forecase or a reserved forecast. When the players are happy with their choices the race begins.

The screen displays a panoramic view of the scrolling course withr a commentator positioned in a box at the top right of the screen. The race starts and the horses gallop off down the course until all have passed the finishing post, whereupon the winners are displayed and any players who have successfully forecast the result are paid.

Julian Rignall
As a single player game this doesn't work too well, but if two or more are playing it really comes into its own. Winning and losing money creates a great atmosphere, and the nail-biting racing scenes provide plenty of excuse for screaming and shouting as the horses gallop up the course.

The comprehensive icon system is very easy to use, and the proceedings run smoothly without unnecessary and frustrating delays. I enjoyed playing this, and for three quid it provides an entertaining and enjoyable diversion from the usual shooting or adventuring action.

S.J.
Gamblers Anonymous will be having extra members if this is anything to go by. I lost about a million pounds in a couple of minues - and didn't even care! Sport Of Kings doesn't exactly look regal, but although the graphics are poor, they don't detract from the playability.

The adrenalin still flows when your horse is a neck in front with half a furlong to go, whether it looks deformed or not. Any game of this fashion is always best when played in a group, and I would even go as far as to say that is is completely useless as a single player game. If you do have gambling friends, get them round for a harmless evening's entertainment at the races.


INTRO SCREEN

PRESENTATION 91%
Totally user-friendly, with an easy-to-use icon system and plenty of options.
GRAPHICS 43%
Rather poor on the whole, but they still manage to generate a decent atmosphere.
SOUND 4%
Little in the way of functional spot effects.
HOOKABILITY 73%
Incredibly easy to get into, and enjoyable from the off.
LASTABILITY 51%
Plenty of group fun to be had, but not much lasting entertainment on offer for a single player.
VALUE 72%
A complete day out at the races - and you won't lose an arm and a leg.
OVERALL 61%
A successful multi-player gambling game.


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