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Knight Rider appears at last, but was it worth the wait? Well, the answer is a definite NO! What a load of complete and utter rubbish it is. For a start, it's boring -- really boring. Driving to the different locations and avoiding the helicopters is completely dull and about as stimulating as working out Pi to the millionth decimal place. The graphics are pathetic, the sound is a joke and the whole game looks rushed. The trouble is they've had sixteen months to program it. Pathetic, treat it like a leper.

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There is one cocktail I'm not particularly fond of and that is excess hype and bad product. This is the perfect mixture if you want to produce Knight Rider. After nearly a year and a half I expected some kind of mega-game but when this pile of drivel greeted my eyes I was totally repulsed. The concept isn't so bad but the execution of that concept is very poor. Mindnumbingly poor graphics and week gameplay just add up to a very bad product. Miss it at all costs.

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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!
Knight Rider
1986 Ocean
Programmed by ?
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the eighteenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: September 11th, 1986).
 

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KNIGHT RIDER
Ocean, 8.95 cass, joystick and keys


Michael Knight, Mr Macho and all round do-gooder, has been assigned yet another perilous mission, along with his trusty four-wheeled companion, KITT -- a remarkable car forming the brains behind the team. Devon, Michael's coordinator, has discovered a group of international terrorists who are threatening to corrupt the amicable relationships between East and West. It is even thought that they are planning to trigger the beginning of the World War III! Devon has instructed Michael and KITT to uncover the plot and put a stop to it -- unfortunately, nobody has the slightest idea what the plot really is.

At the beginning of the game you can choose which mission you wish to attempt, such as prevent-ing the assassination of the Prime Minister, the Deputy President and all sorts of high ranking people. There are three main sections to the game. You begin on the map screen which shows several alternative destinations known to be centres of terrorism. A flashing cursor shows which city you are in and can be moved to indicate which city you are going to. It you enter an operations base from the map screen a message scrolls along the bottom of the screen and advises Michael to travel to a certain city. The joystick is used to select a destination, pressing fire takes you to the driving screen.

The driving section has an interesting option -- you are able to select whether you take control of the steering or to hand it over to KITT. If you choose not to drive then you take control of the crosshairs which can be aimed at the terrorists' helicopters which are trying to stop you completing your mission. When you arrive at the next city (there is a counter to indicate how far away you are from it), you can enter the operations base. However, if KITT still tells you that you need to travel somewhere else then you have to go.

Once you arrive at the correct base you then have to attempt to make your way across to the other side of the room, avoiding three or four highly trained killers in the process. The base could be the terrorist's armoury, headquarters, or even the target of their plots. When the screen has been completed, a clue to what will happen next appears. This process continues until you have either run out of time or sustained too much damage from enemy fire.

     

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I can't believe Ocean have got the nerve to release a game as bad as this -- after a year of hype all they've come up with is a piece of turgid trash. The game basically consists of nothing but a very simple and terminally boring driving simulation which offers no challenge whatsoever -- even at 240 mph the car is a doddle to control. KITT the super (!) car only travels at a maximum speed of 45 mph, so there's no point in letting him drive. And anyway, shooting naff helicopter sprites isn't my idea of fun. If you like the TV program and have been looking forward to the game then you're going to be very disappointed indeed. Steer well clear.
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Presentation 40%

Barely adequate.

Graphics 34%
Simple and ineffective.

Sound 55%
A few weak spot effects and a reasonable rendition of the Knight Rider theme tune on the title screen
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Hookability 29%
Disappointment guaranteed after only a few plays.

Lastability 15%
Severely lacking.

Value For Money 13%
Stick to the TV series, it's marginally better and much cheaper.

Overall 16%
Surely after sixteen months Ocean could have come up with something better than this.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (1 Mar 2010)
Only the first of above screenshots existed in the original review.

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