Amstrad Action
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She might not know her sump from her big end, but Clur knows a thing or two about overhead racing games.

Talk about being a jack of all trades James Hockney of CPC Now1 is sticking his digits into so many pies at the moment he must have bought a family-sized pack of Findus fish fingers to leave himself a few extremities free to tap away on his CPC keyboard. Having already set himself up as a mail order software house, a CPC repairs business, a fanzine editor and hardware supplier, he's now gone into the games publishing business.

His first release is Street Rally, an overhead racer in the style of the classic Slicks from CodeMasters. With tiny little cars and a scrolling screen that follows your car around the long and windy track (that's windy as in bendy, not windy as in digestive problem).

At first sight it seems like you're not racing anyone else, but this is only because, for some reason, thp other competitors have a serious head start on you. Wften you do finally meet them you'll have to fight hard to get past them 'cos they do their best to stop you The best way to get past them is to overtake on the bends.

Damage repair

The difference between this and your usual racing game is the damage repair screen. As you drive through the odd bush, scrape the wing against a barn and overheat your engine all the damage you do is recorded. Then when your car finally gives up the ghost you have the chance to repair the various damaged bits so that you can carry on driving.

There are over 70 bits that could all need repairing and these are all displayed in a table. What you need to do is scroll through them looking for any meters that display over 80 per cent damage.

Pause on the ill bit of kit for a while and your repair team will get to work on that particular section of the car The only problem is that there's usually more than one damaged bit to repair and only a limited amount of time allocated to your stay in the pits. It you don't manage to get all of them to read less than 80 then you get shoved out of the game and have to start all over again.

The main quibble I have with the game is the appallingly juddery scrolling (particularly evident when you slow down to take the corners -it reminds me of my Mum's driving). Graphically it's great - loads of bright colours, nice scenery, fab fluffy sheep standing around in the fields and dinky little cars - but I'd give all the colours in the world for a smoother scroll.

Sound criticism

Erm ... suppose at this point it's traditional review format to mention the sound effects Apart from the fact that there aren't many to speak of, I'll just say that the guys from Commodore Format (they're in the office next door) thought their telly was blowing up. but it was only me playing Streef Rally. 'Nutt said.

Street Rally reminds me of a driving game I played years ago on the BBC micro. Then I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread, but my only reference point at the time was Pong. Here in 1993 this new version is just a poorly-executed driving game.

It's annoying to see games like this - it's as if the programmers put so much effort into making the code look neat and tidy, that they can't be bothered sorting out the glitches. And there are plenty to sort out in Street Rally. For example, if you miss time a corner you could end up stuck in the hedges for the rest of youi life and you can drive through other cars and find yourself imbedded in the side of a house.

The bottom line is that Street Rally isn't worth the money CPC Now! are asking for it. It's got potential, but frankly, it doesn't look like it's been finished.

Clur, AA


AUTHOR: James Hockney

★ PRICE: £2.75 (TAPE) ; £4.50 (DISK 3"/3"1/2)

★ YEAR: 1993
★ LICENCE: ???


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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.