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Written by  :  SpecMaster (2581)
Written on  :  Aug 08, 2013
Platform  :  ZX Spectrum
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
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Summary

A promising motorbike racing game ruined by its flaws.

The Good

Kikstart 2 is loosely based on the British television show Kick Start and is the sequel to the Commodore 64-only Kikstart.

The game has you race in five of twenty-four races that you select by pressing a letter between A and X, so your five tracks can be BREAD if you so wanted to. And the game has you race across the course tackling several obstacles along the way, like the ski jump, gates, tyres, springs, fire and even telephone boxes! And the gameplay works out quite nicely indeed, it’s quite fun to race through these courses, especially with the obstacles you are facing though it’s much more fun with another player as I’ll explain later.

But the best bit of the game was its course designer which allowed you to get creative and design your own races with your own obstacles! You can literally spend hours designing courses and racing on them and even make the absolute ridiculous just for kicks! And it is simple to use as well meaning it allows even the most novice of all games to spoil themselves with their creativity.

The Bad

Every game has its imperfections and sadly Kikstart 2 is no different, but these imperfections affect the game significantly.

First of all, remember I said that it’s more fun with another player? That’s because when you play against the computer, it cheats! Yes the computer AI is very flawed, in that he makes jumps even though they are impossible to land, he goes through fire and doesn’t crash, he essentially cheats! It’s not impossible to beat him by any means but you may find yourself in a winning position and yet lose because you fail the last difficult jump through fire and telephone boxes and he makes it perfectly despite touching the telephone box, which isn't fair.

Another fault is some of the courses are not well designed. They eliminate the thrills and make them nearly impossible to complete without crashing which gets annoying after a while. Also, some of the courses have no design at all, nothing! You just sprint with your opponent in identical speeds, meaning if you get a late start you’re guaranteed to lose as he’ll never slow down.

And while all this is happening there isn’t a single trance of sound in the entire game, no sound for the engine, no sound for the landing, nothing. This makes this game quite boring as a result unless you act a complete idiot and make up your sound effects while you play.

And the game is quite short, for once you finish the five races...that's it, back to the title screen you go. You could of course just start at ABCDE, then afterwards go FGHIJ and so on and tally up the amount of wins against the computer or your mate and see who wins that way. As I said though some of the course have zero design in them and you and the computer have the same top speed, meaning if you move at exactly the same time you could actually get a draw, which let's face it is pretty much an anti-climax.

The Bottom Line

Kikstart 2 could have been a classic hit, but it’s let down badly by its drawbacks of having no sound during the game and cheating AI. Still it provides enough entertainment to enjoy for a bit and the course designer will keep you amused for quite a while. Good fun, but it should have been more.

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