Milk Race

Reviewed by Paul Rixon

 

Issue 30

Nov/Dec 87

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Mastertronic

Cassette 1.99

1 player
1 joystick

 

 

 

Every year cycling professionals from all around the world participate in an increasingly popular event The Milk Race which this year was held over a thousand mile course beginning in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and winding its way around the country to a finishing line in London. Mastertronic's MILK RACE puts you in the saddle of a twelve speed racer competing against eighty-three other hopefuls in a simulation of this year's event.

The game is split into the thirteen stages of the real Milk Race, and you must maintain pole position over each of these sections to win the event overall. It's more of a strategic exercise than a race in fact, the idea is to change gear and adjust your pedalling rate in order to attain the most efficient use of your energy reserves. A gradient indicator provides some insight into the required gear, but otherwise it's basically a matter of trial and error to discover which gear/speed setting best stems your energy depletion rate.

Additional energy is obtained by collecting bottles of nice old, ice cold milk from the roadside. Time trials are sprung upon you at random points along the route and in these you have to complete the section within an allotted time or face elimination. Potholes are commonplace in Britain's road network and hitting one of these incurs an annoying delay. There seems to be a slight bug here in that occasionally, if you've crashed, any cyclists passing the mangled heap actually improve your overall position rather than the opposite.

Graphically, the game is well designed with nicely animated cyclists and a horizontally scrolling road, your view being raised above ground level so that sideways movement of the cyclists and detail in the road can be easily detected. Background scenery scrolls by at a different rate as do the heads of onlookers not all of them human! Passing team cars add to the realism, and original music is included although this can be silenced if need be.

MILK RACE is one of Mastertronic's better efforts, and it's a worthy addition to the budget range. Keep 'em coming please Mastertronic!

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