CRASH Smash

Full Throttle

Producer: Micromega
Memory required: 48K
Retail price: £6.95
Language: machine code
Author: Mervyn Estcourt

A new game from Micromega has become something to look forward to since Deathchase and Code Name Mat. Each one seems to be carefully crafted for a specific purpose from this software house that releases relatively few games. Full Throttle is the latest program from Mervyn Estcourt (Luna Crabs, Deathchase) and continues his theme of bikes, this time on the race track. Interestingly enough, Mervyn had never ridden a bike before work on this game. Towards the end, he felt he ought to get some experience, borrowed a friend’s and rode off into the sunset, or something, leaving Micromega worried for his safety. As you can now see, he was okay!

Full Throttle is to bikes what Psion’s Chequered Flag was to racing cars BUT with the addition of competition in the form of 39 other riders on the track. Unlike Deathchase where you only saw the handlebars of your machine, in Full Throttle your biker and machine are in full view ahead of you on the track. Maximum speed is 175mph and you can race on any of ten of the world’s top circuits with your 500cc motorcycle. The circuits provided are Donnington (UK), Mugello (San Marino), Jarama (Spain), Paul Ricard (France), Nurburgring (W. Germany), Misano (Italy), Silverstone (UK), Spa-Francochamps (Belgium), Rijeka (Yugoslavia) and Anderstorp (Sweden). Information is provided on recent circuit records, average speeds and the winning rider’s name.

Screenshot

The display screen is elegantly simply in layout with circuit name, speed, position and lap number superimposed over the landscape. This consists of the grass, moving background and the track itself, black with white centre lines and cross-hatched shaded edges. Circuits are selected via a full display map of each using SPACE to select and ENTER to return to the main menu. The number of laps to be raced may be selected between one and five. It is possible to practice without other riders on any circuit.

Full Throttle is also unique in that it is a serious racing game because there are no spectacular explosions should you crash. Leaving the track results in your slowing down — running into other riders will result in almost total loss of speed as a penalty.

CRITICISM

COMMENTS

Control keys: good — 1/0 left/right, 9 to accelerate and bottom row to brake; R returns to menu and quits game or practice
Joystick: ZX 2, Kempston, Protek, AGF
Keyboard play: very responsive
Use of colour: not much but it is used very well and avoids worst of attribute problems
Graphics: neat, well drawn bikes, good fast scrolling landscape and some of the best looking 3D yet
Sound: continuous, with starter signal, revving bikes and engine note change, skid sounds
Skill levels: 1, although each track has its own difficulties
Lives: N/A
Originality: not perhaps an original idea, but the development of the 3D certainly is [...?] on the Spectrum and this is the first serious bike, road racer
General rating: excellent.

Use of computer94%
Graphics88%
Playability95%
Getting started92%
Addictive qualities85%
Value for money90%
Overall91%

Search for more information