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The original Commodore 64 version of
Kik Start is extremely playable and is one of my all-time favourite games. The 128 version is even better though, and is hellishly addictive. There are some neat new touches and unlike Kik Start, the courses have to be tackled at many different speeds, making it much harder and more compulsive than before. Great stuff!

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What a great game this used to be and unlike other releases it hasn't aged too badly; even though the game's veneer is a little lacking compared to recent releases, the playability is still there. All in all
Kik Start is great fun and should be in any 128er's software library.

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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Kikstart 128
1986 Mastertronic
Programmed by Shaun Southern
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the sixteenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: July 10th, 1986).
 

KIK START II
Mastertronic, 4.99 disk only, one or two joysticks or keys

     
 

Straddling the powerful off-road country motorbike, you wonder whether this time you can complete the course without falling off. Looking ahead you can see a series of jumps and hazards that would make even the most hardened of stuntmen quail and quiver at the knees. The sound of the starting gun startles you but within half a second you are pulling back on the throttle and roaring towards the first jump.


Kik Start II is an extended version of the original 64 program which boasts twenty seven tracks (three in memory and the others loaded in from disk, eight at a time) along with extra course features, new hazards and a record table for each track (which unfortunately can't be saved). You can tackle the tracks three at a time or go for all eight in a 'grand slam'. If you haven't seen the original program (if not go and buy it now) then you won't really know what we're talking about, so here's a quick rundown on what goes on.

The program is a one or two player, split screen, off-road motorcycle simulator which allows two players to battle it out simultaneously or one player to challenge the talents of a computer controlled rider. The idea is a simple one -- just belt down a hazardous cross country course in the fastest possible time, and in this game hundredths of seconds count so be prepared to race. The two screens are independent from one another, one screen features player one's bike and the other is relevant to what player two's bike is doing. The whole course is viewed from the side in two dimensions, each bike appearing on the left hand side of its respective screen. When the starting gun sounds, pushing right on ye olde joysticke accelerates the bike causing the landscape to scroll from right to left. The bike zooms over the landscape, obeying the rudimentary laws of physics when whizzing (ie if it's going fast and goes off a ramp it flies into the air, falls off walls etc). Depending on which way you push the joystick or press the fire button makes the bike decelerate, wheelie and jump (or bunny hop, depends how technical you are) and all these movements have to be used if a course is to be completed without crashing the bike. If you do crash the bike the game isn't over -- the scenery just scrolls slowly (thus costing time) until there is a safe enough position for the bike to be put back on the course.

The landscape has many features, both man made and natural, which have to be negotiated either by jumping, performing wheelies or some other tactic (many are required, see panel). The courses can be learnt, but it certainly isn't easy remembering all twenty-seven!

 


WALLS
Go very slow over these -- acceleration means a certain fall.

GATES
Again it's a go slow. Cross these at a slow velocity if you want to stay on your bike.

FENCES
Exactly the same principal for the last two hazards apply here too.

PIPES
Same again!!! Less haste, less speed etc

TYRES
You can whizz over these at high speed, but don't slow down otherwise you'll skid off.

BENCHES
Just wheelie up them and drop off the end with your front wheel up.

SPRING BOARDS
Send you flying into the air, helpful if you're tackling a huge jump.

ROUGH GROUND
Go slow and keep your wheels firmly on the ground otherwise you may crash.

DIRT
Slows you down but otherwise it's a pretty harmless substance.

SPIKES
Don't even consider touching these -- they'll rip your tyres to shreds and your rider will tumble shortly afterwards.

MYSTERY BOXES
Can cause hassle but to whizz through them at speed just keep your finger on the jump button.

WATER
Quite simple -- don't touch.

DITCHES
Wheelie and jump -- if you do that you'll clear them.

LOG RAMPS
Keep your speed right down when approaching, then wheelie up the ramp when you're close.

GREASY POLE
Again, slow speed over these otherwise you'll take a tumble.

VEHICLES and PHONE BOXES
Some of these can be ridden on, some have to be jumped. You'll just have to learn which are which
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The only thing that was disappointing about the original Kik Start was that there wasn't enough tracks. Now Mastertronic have produced an 128 version with 27 tracks -- brilliant!!! The graphics aren't exceptional and the sound isn't overly impressive but the gameplay is incredibly addictive and very challenging. Getting really fast times takes some doing and doing it is great fun. If you've got a 128 then you just can't afford to miss it -- pennies can't buy a better game.
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Graphics 93%

Jolly title screen, two player options, title screen music . . . very well done really.

Graphics 69%
Not outstanding, but adequate
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Sound 46%
The tune is ikky, but at least you can turn it off, and the sound effects are reasonable
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Hookability 96%
The two player option gives a real competitive edge and the whole game is immense fun to play, even solo.

Lastability 96%
Twenty seven tracks to puzzle, confound and master.

Value For Money 99%
Ridiculously cheap for a disk game, and it's damn good too.

Overall 96%
What 128 owners have been crying out for.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (17 Aug 2006)

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