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The best way to play this game is with two players simultaneously. Even without a friend to challenge you, this provides an incredibly addictive and frustrating game as you zoom, leap and bound over all the obstacles. Going for those low, low times will keep you coming back to this game for months. The most incredible thing about it is its price: 1.99. Go get it NOW.

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Even though it may prove a frustrating game to play initially,
Kik Start is certainly worth sticking with. The simultaneous two-player option gives the game an excellent competitive and compulsive element. Even if you play on your own, once you start to crack the courses and the urge to improve times sets in, you won't want to stop.

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This game is incredible value for only 1.99, and I would thoroughly recommend it. I found there was great skill needed to improve at the game, and with eight different courses there was no lack of variety. The fact that you can have two-player races was also a major plus point for me, with terrific excitement as you battle it out neck and neck.

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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
1984 Mr. Chip Software
Programmed by Shaun Southern
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the third issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (July 1985).
 

KIK START
Mastertronic, 1.99 cass, joystick or keys


O Motorcycle stunts against the clock
O Eight courses, two independently scrolling screens

This overlooked and underrated game, originally put out by Mr Chip software, has been a personal favourite of mine for some time. Now that it's been re-released by Mastertronic at a ridiculously low price, it'll hopefully prove the same for a lot of other people.

It's a motorcycling stunt game, complete with simultaneous two-player action (or just one player against the clock), and a high frustration and addiction element.

There are eight obstacle courses to choose from and you must guide your rider as quickly and carefully as possible over any combination of three of them. Your bike is controlled through your joystick or keyboard, and can accelerate, decelerate, wheelie and jump.

Split-screen action. Player 2 has completed the last
of the three courses in a time of 50.54. Player 1 has
fallen off with his clock on 62.36 and counting.
Useless times.

Two people can race simultaneously, thanks to the split screen display which independently shows one player's progress on the top, the other's on the bottom. Each course is roughly eight or so screen-widths long, so the picture scrolls smoothly from right to left to show the various obstacles and hazards to be crossed as they come.

There are a variety of hazards, and the skill lies in selecting the right form of control for each combination of hazards. Some need to be taken slowly, others quickly, and you have to learn the right timing for your jumps and wheelies.

If you get it wrong your rider will be ejected from his bike, complete with a WEEEOOW! noise, and lay comatose for a frustrating couple of seconds.

The obstacles include tires (bottom left) and
barrels (top right).

You will then be moved along the bottom of the course until a suitable re-entry point (determined by the computer) is reached. However, sometimes the computer restarts you at a point where it's impossible to complete the next stunt. This is extremely annoying, but it's the price you pay for falling off. The thrill of having a fast, clean run more than makes up for it.

The time for the each individual course is displayed at the top of each player's screen along with the combined time for all three courses. If your combined course time is fast enough, then you can type in your name for the high score table. This displays the top five players' names along with the three individual course times and the total time achieved.

As well as playing a simultaneous two-player game, you can play a one-player or alternating two-player game. The option also exists to have an uninspiring one-voice rendition of the television program's theme tune played during the game. There's a better piece (the Can Can) played on the title screen, and there are fairly realistic motorbike drones throughout the game.

Apart from some unrealistic clouds, the graphics are excellent. The definition of bike, rider and course hazards is good, with a great use of colour all round.

GP
.


The different obstacles

WHEDGES, PILES of TYRES and BARRELS. All of these must be either driven over very quickly, or jumped where possible, so as not to get stuck.

ROUGH GROUND, GATES, BRICK WALLS and SCREEN WALLS. Must be driven over fairly slowly to clear them. Rough ground can usually be jumped, as can some of the gates and screen walls -- brick walls, unfortunately, cannot.

LORRIES and BUSES. These can be either simply driven over at any speed, or jumped, whereas . . . .

CARS, VANS, TELEPHONE BOXES, WATER and DIPS along the courses, must all be jumped.

OTHER FEATURES of the courses include steps (to go down at, at high speeds) and ramps (as an aid to jumping).
.

 


The eight courses

1. MOTOR MADNESS. After a fast start over some tyres, plenty of cars, vans, buses and lorries to jump. At the end of the course a nasty set of barrels lead up to a particularly tricky set of jumps over a bus, van and car (length ways!).

2. RIDE IT ROUGH. Some rough ground at the start is followed by a load of tyres and barrels, five continuous pot-holes to jump over and a further, final bumpy ride.

3. BITS 'N' PIECES. A slow ride over a brick wall starts the course, followed by some hefty jumps over screen walls and six telephone boxes. Four sawtooth-style ramps lead up to a treacherous water jump and the finish line.

4. JUMPS GALORE. As the title suggests, plenty of things to jump in this one. Water, vans, buses, and a lorry are all there for the jumping, plus the added bonus of a great ski jump at the end of the course.

5. UP 'N' DOWNER. Plenty of difficult jumps throughout the course -- over water, rough ground, tyres, and more water.

6. STRETCH OF WATER. It starts with a water jump . . . and it carries on with more along the way. Highspot of the course (and source of much annoyance) is the long set of water jumps near the beginning.

7. PICK 'N' MIX. Water jumps, gates, pot-holes, steps . . . nearly everything nasty there is, is thrown in this one.

8. SOUT'S SELECTION. Named after the programmer, Shaun Southern, there's a great selection of nasty buts throughout. Starts with a 'just about possible to jump' gate, and ends with a jump over some telephone boxes and a quick spurt down some steps to cross the line.
.

 
PRESENTATION
ORIGINALITY
85% Simple, but concise, instructions and excellent in-game options.
74%
A new type of stunt game.
GRAPHICS
HOOKABILITY
73% Nice bike and scenery and a good use of colours.
85%
Despite being frustrating it still proves addictive.
SOUND
LASTABILITY
61% Vrrooomy bike noises, wheeooy sounds and reasonable music.
86%
Eight difficult courses plus the constant challenge of improving times.
VALUE FOR MONEY
90% The most impressive cheapo game we've ever seen.

 

Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (11 December 2001)

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