When Mastertronic started producing budget games, the quality of their games was pretty bad. The game that restored my hope on decent cheap games was Kikstart; it was the first Mastertronic game I played that was worth playing more than once. That was followed by the sequel which was even better. Amiga owners will be glad to hear that they too can now take to the controls of a dirt bike, and take the rough with the smooth.
One or two players can race over a choice of 24 courses, five at a time. The idea is to complete the courses on a faster time than your opponent. All the obstacles I would expect to find in trials riding are there, ramps, bunny hops, bumpy ground, mud, water, logs and oil drums, and also some more out of the ordinary obstacles, such as springs, ski-jumps, picnic tables and fire.
Each player has his own view of the game which scrolls along with the bike. To negotiate the hazards, you can accelerate, brake, wheelie and jump. Getting the right speed at the right time, and timing your Jumps is how you'll win. Watching the speedo helps gauge your speed on gates and logs that have to be taken slowly, obstacles that need to be ridden slowly, makes it more than Just a matter of who can Jump the furthest, as you are always watching your speed. Playing against the computer is fun, but of course it is more enjoyable with a friend.
To add some variation, there is a construction kit in the program that allows you to redesign any of the tracks and save them to disk for use in the future. This is easy enough to use, and of course you can make the courses as easy or hard as you like. If you are into ski-Jumps, why not have a whole track of the things? Using this, you could design tracks for a younger player who might find the ones included too hard.
During the conversion, the graphics and sound have been improved slightly, although the game is the same. The bike controls are a little slow to react, and Instead of being zapped by the fire as in the 64 version, the rider merely falls off, but apart from these minor points, it is all being considerably improved. A couple of tunes play in the game, which can get a little boring. All the scrolling is smooth, and the backgrounds and sprites are drawn and coloured well.
Kikstart II keeps all the playability of the original, but it has to be said that it does little to push the Amiga's hardware. But this is what budget software should be about, not just cheap rubbish that sells on the basis that it has BMX or Ninja in the title. Kikstart II is a well presented fun game that should be near the top of your shopping list.
Quite a simpe and small game, converted from the C64. But it has a very interesting gameplay. You are a cross motor rider and have to beat the cpu or human opponent. There are many levels, with varoius barriers.
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