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Gib Gas, ich wil spass!

Skidmarks logo

H ier treten zwei neue Autorasereien (Burning Rubber & Skidmarks) gegeneinander an, die zunächst nicht sonderlich vielversprechend aussahen, sich aber bald als sehr spritzig entpuppten. Sollte das die Wiederentdeckung der Spielbarkeit sein?

Skidmarks Noch vor dem Start erschrickt man schon über die popeligen Screenshots auf der Packung, fortgeschrittene Byte-Mechaniker kriegen den nächsten Schock, wenn sie feststellen, daß Acid Software das Game größenteils in Basic geschrieben hat.Aber schließlich stammt auch das verwendete „Blitz Basic 2“ aus derselben neuseeländischen Programmierecke – wer sollte sich also besser mit dieser Sprache auskennen?

Zu sehen sind die zwölf Strecken schräg von oben, wobei die Perspektive schon etwas zu steil ist, als daß man noch guten Gewissens von einer isometrischen 3D-Ansicht sprechen könnte. Der Bodenbelag besteht meist aus Asphalt oder Erde, ansonsten gibt es Sprungschanzen, Einbahnstraßen, Kreuzungen und vor allem Kurven in allen Verschlingungen. Damit der Name der Rose auch seine Berechtigung hat, hinterlassen die Vehikel tatsächlich Brems-, Schleif- und Schleuderspuren auf dem Kurs. Gescrollt wird der komplette PAL-Overscan-Bildschirm, und das selbst dann noch perfekt, wenn man auf dem gesplitteten Zwei-Raser-Screen (bzw. vier per Modem) unterwegs ist. Im übrigen sind vier Schwierigkeitsgrade, die Spielmodi Practice, Match Race und Championship sowie acht Computerteams und vier verschiedene Autotypen im Angebot.

Der Schwachpunkt ist hier eindeutig die etwas triste, grüne oder braune Landschaftsgrafik, der man wenigstens ein paar Animationen spendieren hätte können. Die Wägelchen sind dafür ausgezeichnet animiert und sehen auf dem 1200er nochmals ein ganzes Stück besser aus – eine Extradisk für die AGA-Grafik liegt der Packung bereits bei. Allerdings können selbst auf Commos Wundermaschine höchstens zwei verschiedene Autotypen gleichzeitig antreten, was wohl an den stolzen 800 AGA-Animationen liegen dürfte. Der Sound ist dagegen in jeder Hinsicht eine Granate: Wenn man die realistischen FX und den knallharten Metal-Track anständig aufdreht, gründen die Nachbarn glatt eine Bürgerinitiative. Aber entscheidend ist letztlich das durch und durch geglückte Gameplay, das vor allem bei mehreren Teilnehmern schier endlosen Geschwindigkeitsrausch garantiert. Oder um es mit den Worten der witzig formulierten Anleitung zu sagen: Kauf mich, fahr mich, schrott mich, und dann auf ein neues!

Amiga Joker, February 1994, p.18

ENDWERTUNG

Vom Erlebniswert her sind die beiden Konkurrenten grundverschieden: Der „verbrannte Gummi“ spricht vor allem den einsamen Asphaltcowboy an, der sein Leben dem Kampf gegen die Uhr und unverständige Behördenvertreter gewidmet hat. Die „Bremspuren“ wiederum entfalten ihre Reize erst so richtig in einem Kreis von Gleichgewinnten, denen fröhliche Rempeleien auf unwegsamen Untergrund über alles gehen. Entscheiden muß also der persönliche Geschmack, aber völlig falsch liegt man weder bei Skidmarks noch bei Burning Rubber.

SKIDMARKS
(ACID SOFTWARE)
RUNDKURS - RASEREI
80%
"TEAM-FUN"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
MUSIK
SOUND-FX
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPAß
58%
72%
84%
72%
79%
82%
VARIABEL: 4 STUFEN
PREIS DM 69,-
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
1 MB/2 MB
4/JA
JA
HIGHSCORES: 10
ANLEITUNG



Skidmarks logo  CU Amiga Screen Star

Acid Software are looking to create the kind of reputation Team 17 had since Project X After Blitz Basic comes one of the best top-view racers ever. Tony Dillon has been looking forward to Skidmarks for ages. (Stop sniggering at the back!).

Skidmarks B litz Basic 2 is a bit of a marvel, all things concerned. Just look at Defender or Zombie Apocalypse and you will see that you do not need to be a machine code programmer to create some rather stunning results. This is exactly what Acid Software aim, and one look at Skidmarks should be enough to silence even the most ardent cynic. Skidmarks is for car racing games what Kick Off was to football – the start of a new age.

Coming from the multiplayer school of games like Super Sprint and Micro Machines, Skidmarks takes the top-view racing scenario and kicks it into the Nineties with a style and flair that you just do not usually see in games these days. The basis is quite a simple one – take four cars and a winding track, and let up to four players race against one other, all fighting for the best times, sometimes just fighting to stay on the track.

Skidmarks Opening the box for the first time, you are presented with the main game disk, an AGA car disk for the A1200/A4000 (let us see AMOS do that!) and two track disks, the titles of which show off the programmer’s music taste a little too obviously (Pearl Jam’s ‘Even Flow’ and Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Killing in The Name Of’). By having the tracks, six to a disk, on separate disks, Acid are paving the way for bigger and better tracks as time goes on.

After loading, you can choose to link two machines, set up your function key messages (when two machines are linked, you can send messages back and forth), choose the number of players, set the difficulty level, select your car out of a list of four, choose the computer team to play against and finally get into the game. After you have chosen which of the 1 tracks to race on, of course!

The controls work in the same way as most games of this ilk. The fire button accelerates and the left and right buttons steer your car. Pulling back brakes, but who ever uses that? From this point on, everything gets different. You have probably noticed from the screen shots on this page that the game is viewed isometrically rather than straight top-view, which has given Acid a lot of scope to play with a more three dimensional track. Corners are banked, which affect the way your car steers, and rough areas of straights and jumps mean you lose control when your car is in the air. Keeping it under control is a real skill, and that is one of the secrets to what makes the game so damn playable. I have not been able to put it down yet, and I doubt I will for quite a while.

Skidmarks One thing that I would love to be able to show you, but cannot, is the realism of the graphics. Okay, the might look a little pokey on still screenshots, but when you see everything moving you can see why it took so long to do the graphics. Each car is made up of 800 sprites (32 rotations with five elevations and five pitches), all rendered in Imagine 2, all light sourced and totally believable. All that is lacking are the turning wheels, but who is being picky?

Skidmarks is one of the most instantly playable games I have ever played, along with one of the best two player games ever released on the Amiga. Okay, so it won’t take too long before you can beat the computer opponents on all tracks, but who cannot beat the computer teams in Sensible Soccer? The strength here lies in the electric atmosphere generated by a good two or four player game against opponents of equal skill. The manual suggests you should spill beer on the lap of your enemy to give yourself an advantage, and you can see why after a few games. Skidmarks is a landmark in computer games, and if future Blitz Basic games are as good as this one, we are going to see the Amiga and CD32 become the games machines of the next decade.

CU Amiga, February 1994, p.p. 88-89

IF YOU CANNOT FIND IT…
Acid Software are a New Zealand-based software house and are still in the middle of setting up a full distribution deal in the UK. If you are finding it a little hard to find a copy of this superb game, then you will be happy to know that you can order a copy directly from Acid by sending a cheque or postal order (no cash) to: Acid Software, PO Box 3172, London NW3. The cost? A measly £25.99.

WHERE DID THAT NAME COME FROM?
Skidmarks might seem like a bit of an odd name for a racing game, schoolboy humour aside, but it does have a good reason. When you start a track, the road is clean and smooth, but once you start skidding round corners, you notice that your car leaves a long trail of disturbed dust. It is such a small bonus, but it adds to the realism of the game no end. I have never seen an effect like it, and it just shows Acid Software’s commitment to creating the best games yet seen.

ACID SOFTWARE £25.99
A500
A1500
A500+
A2000
A600
A3000
A1200
A4000
ACID SOFTWARE, PO BOX 3172, LONDON NW3. Tel: 071 482 4066
 
RELEASE DATE:
GENRE:
TEAM:
CONTROLS:
NUMBER OF DISKS:
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HARD DISK INSTALLABLE:
MEMORY:
 
OUT NOW
ARCADE
IN HOUSE
JOYSTICK
4
1-4
YES
1Mb

 
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY

95%
91%
93%
94%
A milestone in Amiga games. One of the most playable racers ever.
OVERALL: 92%