REVIEWS COURTESY OF ZXSR

Skate Crazy
by Tim Miller, Tony R. Porter, Kevin Bulmer, Jon Harrison, Ben Daglish
Gremlin Graphics Software Ltd
1988
Crash Issue 54, July 1988   (1988-06-30)   page(s) 16

Freddy is showing off down town in a thoroughly posey bid to gain the coolest, trendiest reputation for street cred in town. Flaunting his designer roller skates and flashing his ultra-dark shades, he's all set to take the stage by storm.

This command performance takes place over four multi-loaded levels (played in any order) in one or two player mode. Set on a building site, underground, in a shopping centre and in the park, they are each divided into two parts. In both, Freddy attempts to acquire maximum street cred by picking up tools and valuables, throwing missiles, performing somersaults and jumping with the greatest of ease over 45' ramps.

The first stage sees Freddy negotiating a multi-directionally scrolling obstacle course. Nazards include uneven surfaces, broken bottles, moving cars, giant rats, live electric cables and patches of oil. Bonus points are awarded for avoiding these with flair; wobbly movements and awkward falls increase fatigue. Exhaustion forces Freddy to retire, while a slow and feeble performance eats away at his cred-o-meter. If it falls to zero, Freddy loses one of his three precious lives.

At the end of the course, four spectators pronounce judgement; fail to make the grade and you're forced to try again. Provide a sufficiently trendy performance, enhanced by plenty of bonus points, and you're rewarded with access either to the next level or the second stage…

In a timed race set against a horizontally scrolling background of platforms and ramps, Freddy attempts to complete the Skate Crazy Park Challenge. Gaps in the floor need to be avoided by judicious leaping and ducking. Falling teddy-bears, kites and kamikaze pilots attempt to hinder progress. A supply of well-thrown missiles fends these off, while picking up objects gains precious bonus points.

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: detailed objects on the first level, with numerous obstacles and colour on the horizontal
Sound: many smart spot effects


'Another excellent game from Gremlin Graphics. The courses are carefully designed with plenty of obstacles to provide an action-packed challenge. Fearless Freddy, complete with peaked cap and shades is stylishly animated, and the gameplay itself features plenty of variation. With a catalogue of dashing somersaults, mind-boggling jumps and spins at your disposal there's no end of opportunities to show off. It's just a pity that the judges of the first part are such sticklers for style. Unless you perform an incredible series of amazing, breath-taking, astonishing and astounding feats they won't let you proceed to the next stage. You can complete the course and score up to 10000 potential points and the judges will still be too fussy to let you move on. Still - once you've mastered the technique you'll probably be too busy showing off your latest double axle, backwards spins extravaganzas to notice. Whether you're a cool dude or just an ordinary guy you'll find plenty to impress - so go crazy and splash out.'
KATI ... 84%

'Wow! This is my sort of game. Trying to gain street-cred is my main pastime! Graphically Skate Crazy is OK but the monochrome colour does let it down a bit on Level One. Once you have mastered the controls and worked out some groovy somersaults you can attempt to impress the judges, but believe me, it takes some doing! On the first level your skater moves similarly to the bloke in 720' which means that when you try to stop he slides on (usually into a pile of tyres or something!). You can get some fun out of just jumping around the first couple of levels because it's doubtful that many people will get past these, Gremlin have made it so hard. Once you have completed the first few stages, you go on to a totally different game: the skater is seen side on here and you have to jump over objects and do acrobatics as before. Skate Crazy is great to begin with but the frustration of failing to qualifying for the umpteenth time on Level One diminishes its addictive qualities. Once you get further into the game, though, it does improve.'
NICK ... 81%

'Skate Crazy is great fun - zooming round the courses jumping and somersaulting. The graphics in the first game are well-shaded and detailed; the flags even blow in the wind. It's really hard trying to stop your skater from sliding all over the place and crashing, especially with the various hazards on the track. The scrolling is very smooth and fast, and the skater moves very realistically, especially when he slides out of control. Unfortunately there's no tune but there are plenty of spot effects during play. The game is very challenging since the judges (who look like a load of criminals) mark low and time runs out fast. The second game has good, colourful graphics and is also difficult. The difficulty could put some people off but the game is very playable all the same; if you like a challenge just get your skates on!'
PHIL ... 85%

Presentation84%
Graphics85%
Playability83%
Addictive Qualities82%
Overall83%
Summary: General Rating: An original approach to an old sport. The high content and variation make Skate Crazy extremely enjoyable and addictive.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 32, August 1988   page(s) 31

I read somewhere that an infinite number of monkeys, given an infinite amount of time (and the same number of typewriters), could, purely by chance and the law of averages, reproduce the entire works of William Shakespeare - word for word! As a little experiment I'm going to leave my pet monkey, Pippo, in charge of this review. He's got until I get back from the sea-side tonight! Byeeee!

Hello, I'm Pippo, and I'm typing at random. ('We know' - lots of astute readers). I've seen my master playing this game, and I'm going to tell you all how good it is.

As you might have gathered by the title, Skate Crazy involves you in the crazy world of roller skating. You control a little chap called Freddy who has, along with some of his chums, taken over a disused multi-storey car park in order to hold a grand roller-skate competition! There are four courses (levels), and the general idea is to perform a variety of stunts whist accurately following a pre-set route in the shortest possible time. This will impress the four judges, which is quite important actually, as only high scores will allow you to progress up the levels.

Each course takes place on a very large playing area, which is a beautifully smooth eight way scroller (monochrome graphics), viewed from above. On the ground are numerous white arrows, which designate the route you have to take. To either side of these arrows are items such as boxes and tyres, which will knock you out for a few seconds and drain your energy if you collide with them.

There are loads of other hazards strewn about the course - oil patches, sand patches, glass, potholes and much more besides. These all help to fall up your score if not avoided.

From the moment of starting a particular course, a timer will begin to tick down, but passing between sets of flags positioned in various places on the track will bounce the time back up to maximum setting. Failure to reach these flags in time will result in the loss of one of your four lives.

Also scattered around are ramps. Jump these at speed and, while airborne, rotate your joystick clockwise or anti-clockwise (or indeed both), to perform aerial pirouettes. Mind you, if you're silly enough to land backwards, the joystick controls get all wibbled up. My master cursed several times at this point. Mind you, in later levels I believe that some 'flag-points' have to be negotiated in a bottom-first direction, so I think my master would be wise to practice this art!

Anyway, let's assume you've managed to negotiate the entire course having successfully avoided all the 'avoid things', collected all the 'collect' things and pulled several hair-raising 'stunts' out of your 'stunt-bag', the four judges will raise their score cards - which in this hypothetical case would probably be four 'nine's' - allowing progression to the next level. (My master thought he was doing well when he got an average of three, and he has the audacity to call ME a stupid chimpanzee!!)

With its lovely graphics, beautiful animation and frenetic and addictive gameplay, I think I will have to dosh out a pretty high score for Skate Crazy - and I think I had better do it pretty quickly, as my luck must be running out and I'll soon, no doubt, be typing absolute gibberi%66@9?<33dy m LK#b.


Graphics9/10
Playability8/10
Value For Money8/10
Addictiveness9/10
Overall9/10
Summary: A beautifully presented and very tricky roller-skating avoid 'em/collect 'em and do lots of stunts 'em up. Great stu%£*D4j.

Award: Your Sinclair Megagame

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 76, July 1988   page(s) 16

Sometimes I amaze myself. I can race fast cars, destroy entire races of alien filth and outrun the world's top athletes (on a computer, of course) but can I rollerskate? Can I flip?

Gremlin's Skate Crazy had me completely flummoxed for ages. Now I can't profess to have ever been anything but a poor roller-skater in real life, so I'll freely admit that I found this game virtually impossible! Not only is there an unpleasantly realistic tendency to fall over at the slightest gust of wind or break in concentration, but you are forced to perform remarkably hair-raising feats merely in order to impress the judges lurking at the bottom of the screen. If the judges aren't suitably impressed by your spiralling jumping antics, then you simply won't progress to the next skate course.

You view the course in that funny angle that isn't quite plan view or side-on. Anyway, it seems to be about the best way to handle things, as the screen needs to scroll in all directions. Fantastic though it was, 720's forced perspective was a little restricting.

The graphics, while I'm on the subject, are better than 720' They're larger and more comical - you rub your head and scrape yourself off the ground after each tumble, and there are different frames of animation when you're slipping on oil or stuck in sand too.

I found that spins - performed by twisting the joystick around in a circle were tricky to complete, but that's probably down to my poor dexterity and SU'S decrepit joystick.

The main aim of the first part, is to race around the course - indicated by arrows on the floor - dodging obstacles and jumping jumps. You've got to weigh up the advantages of simply racing around in as quick a time as possible, thus taking less risks and not losing any credibility points, or trying lots of bold manoeuvres and taking more time.

One of the most satisfying is jumping in the air off a ramp, spinning through 180 degrees and landing backwards. Unfortunately, this reverses your controls, and you'd have to be nothing short of a genius to retain your balance. If you manage to make your way successfully through the four courses, you'll be taken to Level 2, which is a side-on, skatey jumps affair, with lots of features. It's kind of Monty on Wheels.

Skate Crazy is definitely a classy product. The two levels give it enough variety and the gameplay itself is really rather good. If you've got 720', you'd have to look quite carefully before buying, but if you're in search of a wheely game that isn't as wildly unrealistic as a race-car prog., you should get your skates on and get it. (That's it. You're fired - G.T)

Label: Gremlin
Author: In house
Price: £7.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Jim Douglas


Graphics 90%
Sound 75%
Playability 80%
Lastability 80%
Overall 88%
Summary: Innovative skating affair. Nice graphics, reasonable depth and a sense of humour.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ACE Issue 11, August 1988   page(s) 46

Gremlin get their skates on.

Street cred raises its spiky-haired head once more. Forget BMX and skateboarding - rollerskates are back.

The game is split into two sections: a car park challenge and a championship course. In the car park you must travel round a course of gates, jumps and obstacles, performing stunts on the way. The championship is a right-to-left scrolling course where you have to jump over and duck under obstacles, trying to reach the end.

In the car park four judges mark you on speed, complexity and variety of moves - jumps, knocking tin cans over, collecting bonuses and skating backwards. You have to complete the course as fast as possible, still doing lots of tricks on the way. Crashes, skidding and repeating stunts too often can actually lose you points.

On the scrolling championship course you have to skate along (by waggling on the 64) jumping or ducking under obstacles. Along the way you can collect objects that are worth bonus points. Four different courses contain many hazards to knock you down, and some will cause you to instantly lose a life if you don't negotiate them correctly.

You'll really need to practice to get anywhere in the car park section. The championship courses are easier, but still very difficult to complete. It's addictive in its own way. but annoying too because it's so tough.

Reviewer: Bob Wade

RELEASE BOX
C64/128, £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Out Now
Spec, £7.99cs, £12.99dk, Out Now
Amstrad, £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Imminent

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 70/100
1 hour: 50/100
1 day: 70/100
1 week: 65/100
1 month: 30/100
1 year: 0/100


Graphics6/10
Audio3/10
IQ Factor2/10
Fun Factor7/10
Ace Rating600/1000
Summary: Practice is needed to overcome the frustratingly difficult elements, but these make the 64 version a challenge for longer.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

The Games Machine Issue 9, August 1988   page(s) 55

Spectrum 48/128 Cassette: £97.99, Diskette: £12.99
Commodore 64/128 Cassette: £9.99, Diskette: £14.99

A RIDE DOWN SKID ROLL

Roller-skating, according to Gremlin, is now the only way to show how 'def' you are. But when you, and a couple of friends, set up a challenge in a disused car to seriously improve your street cred, too many crashes and you hear your defness called into question. The Commodore 64 development team is no less than eight people. Including Greg Holmes (Jack The Nipper 1/2) and Ben Daglish. Spectrum programming is by Tony Porter (The Eidolon and MASK) with graphics by Kevin Bulmer (Gauntlet II).

The main game takes part in the multistorey car park where each level has been laid out with cones, flags, jumps and hurdles, represented by an eight-way scrolling, overhead view. There are numerous non-regulation hazards such as oil spills, potholes, remote-control cars, other skaters and sand. The objective is to get around the course in the shortest possible time, with the minimum of crashes, while executing enough stunts to impress the four judges.

Once you arrive at the finishing point the judges hold up score cards which determine whether you must retake the course or not. If you succeed in qualifying. you have a choice between going up to the next floor of the car park challenge or taking the championship course. The latter entails a long multiload for what is effectively another game. On the Commodore only there's a rubbish collection section, so that if you fail to qualify for round one, you must collect all the rubbish before time runs out to go forward to round two.

CHAMPIONSHIP

The championship course is a horizontally-scrolling race against the clock with a great many pits to be jumped, and scaffolding to be ducked under. Waggling the joystick left/right builds up speed, but it can be tricky unless the skater's direction has been firmly established. If you complete a championship course you may go on to the next level, or return to the car park challenge.

Both sections have four levels and all eight must be completed to finish the game. On the championship section the levels are building site, park, London Underground and a street scene.


Overall78%
Summary: The multi-directional scrolling on the car park is very smooth, and although in monochrome, detail is excellent. By way of contrast the championship section is a lot more colourful, but an irritating control method makes it just as tough as the frustrating car park level.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

All information in this page is provided by ZXSR instead of ZXDB