Yee-double-hah! From the hit hot author of BMX Simulator comes Codemasters' chart challenger ATV Simulator. ATV is a quad racing (ie dune buggy) re-enaction of the quality we've come to expect from the budget champs.
From the first upbeat notes of Dave Whittaker's music you know this is going to be high rev, high speed action. In true Le Mans style you have to run and jump your buggy and roar into the first of your trails. This is the sand dunes, and relatively easy; you have to scale, leap and generally crash your way round lumps and hillocks within sixty seconds. But later screen trails are harder (and imaginatively daft - just how do you get the buggy off the seal's nose in the iceberg section?). And you have to finish in the time limit, or back to screen 1 you go.
There's an excellent split screen two up facility, which allows simultaneous game play, giving you real eyeball to eyeball keyboard conflict, (ATV is joystick compatible). Each obstacle surmounted gains you points, so a result is possible even if you don't clear all the screens. On screen info includes your time and fuel status, but most of the graphics are given over to the racing.
Control is not as easy as first appears - sheer speed and aggression will not bring the laurels of victory. Up/down control lets you wheelie (the 180' wheelie spins are a gas if not always useful!), the fire button jumps the ATV, (or the driver when he has to board the brute). Left/right controls speed. For steep slopes, wheelie slowly and jump simultaneously - it's a knack you'll need to master.
If you come off (the crashes are sensational, but not fatal), run back to the ATV, face the right way and re-mount to start your race with danger.
Hurrah! One of the best bargs ever. ATV Sim see you and a chum sitting astride a four-wheel bike thing, lurching over a set of courses. The trick is to drive flat out all the way, but pull wheelies and do jumps when necessary so you don't come a cropper at the obstacles. It's intensely competitive but gets frustratingly difficult on higher levels (when you start getting attacked by birds and things). A must.
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