STEVE Cartwright's Gee Bee Air Rally (GB from now on), is one of the first Amiga releases from Activision to really feature animation heavily.
Previous games have offered pretty pictures, but lacked animation. GB is an arcade flight simulator which combines the flavour of a flight simulator with the joystick-
The plane is easy to control, leaving you to test dexterity rather than intimate knowledge of racing aircraft.
The game's storyline is set in the 1930s, and sees you playing Johnny "Little John" Daring, America's greatest pilot. In this persona you must race a plane (the Gee Bee in the game's title) around a pylon-
The plane is capable of covering the 100 mile course at a average of more than 250 miles per hour - but only if you are a top quality pilot.
Fly around the course as quickly as possible, avoiding all the other competitors, and leaving pylons to the left and right, rather like skiing.
After you complete a series of these courses you are presented with a couple of time trials. The most common is balloon-
The balloons are laid out in a trail, but they are mixed with signposts which will damage your aircraft should you hit one. If you fail to pop enough balloons in the alloted time, your game is over.
If during any part of the game you fail to complete a section, or crash into one of the many other planes, you parachute to land. This is displayed by a huge parachuting aviator with appropriate sounds.
The final screen shows you either in a pile of manure, or facing an attractive pair of legs in a barn.
The player's view is that from above and behind the plane you control, but although the machine is nicely drawn, it is still a little inaccurate, particularly when you are supposedly flying at 250 mph.
The biggest problem with GB, however, lies not the graphics or sound, but the gameplay, or rather lack of it. Although there are levels of play, the game is quite simply too easy. And not only is it too easy, it is - after only a matter of minutes - rather dull.
In many respects this is little more than Pole Position in mid-air, and Pole Position is a three year old game.
GB falls down because it is a conversion. On the 64, the programmer could probably only get so much into the computer's memory. With 512k of Amiga to play with, however, the game should have been considerably better than this.
The idea is there for a good game, the packaging and instructions are excellent, but at £24.95, GB is overpriced and under-