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Rowan Morrison

Side-on motorbike games

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I used to really, really like side-on motorbike games, though in my retro days I never played Excitebike, so that's out for me. I'm going to remember some of my favourites now.

1. Before proper computers a friend had a variant of the Grandstand paddle-and-lightgun type games machines, and that had a bike jumping game. Screen split into four horizontal sections, you'd start in the top left and switch to the next screen down when you got to the far right. Each 'level' would have different jumps - all it had was jumps, and all you could do was accelerate or coast (and gradually lose speed). If you went too fast you'd start to do a wheelie and eventually fall off. If you weren't fast enough you wouldn't make the jump, duh. I think you had to hit the landing ramp, so you couldn't just go flat-out, and when you landed you lost some speed, so you needed enough time before the next jump to accelerate again. It was so simple, but I spent ages beating high scores on that. May have been Eddie Kidd licensed - or was that a separate game?

2. My cousin had an Acorn Electron with The Fall Guy, and one of the levels on that was very similar, but probably a bit fancier - maybe you could choose to wheelie and adjust your balance, I don't remember. It also had a jetski section that I think was the same game with different graphics.

3. Kikstart and Kikstart II, which may have been the best value games I ever had on the C64 in terms of playability per pound. The course designer on the second one kept me busy for weeks and the two-player was great, making a daring jump over a gate while your opponent tried to take oit slowly. And also the SID version of the Kickstart theme was a popular favourite. DUNCH! DUNCH! DUNCH! and so on, that was how it went.

4. Another friend made his own Atari 800XL version, except all he managed to do was make the graphics and have the bike accelerate and do a wheelie. Even so, this was very impressive, though nowadays I suspect he actually typed it in from a magazine and pretended he'd done it himself.

5. I can't recall any more, though I seem to remember some game with a big side-on bike. I may just be thinking of Saboteur, did that start with a motorbike being ridden side-on? Clumsy Colin Action Biker ought to get an honorary mention; not side-on, but certainly in the same spirit and, I might go so far as to suggest, an early precursor of GTA in its drive-anywhere, do-anything attitude.

6. But there must be more, so rev up.

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Well I used to spend a lot of time playing Wheelie a long time ago. It was pretty playable for an early Speccy game, and had a good story as well. You had to get the speed just right to jump over the buses, and the ice patches were a bit of a nightmare.

The only other one I can think of that you haven't covered is the old Grandstand hand held BMX Flyer which was a great little game.

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I used to really, really like side-on motorbike games, though in my retro days I never played Excitebike, so that's out for me. I'm going to remember some of my favourites now.

3. Kikstart and Kikstart II, which may have been the best value games I ever had on the C64 in terms of playability per pound. The course designer on the second one kept me busy for weeks and the two-player was great, making a daring jump over a gate while your opponent tried to take oit slowly. And also the SID version of the Kickstart theme was a popular favourite. DUNCH! DUNCH! DUNCH! and so on, that was how it went.

4. Another friend made his own Atari 800XL version, except all he managed to do was make the graphics and have the bike accelerate and do a wheelie. Even so, this was very impressive, though nowadays I suspect he actually typed it in from a magazine and pretended he'd done it himself.

5. I can't recall any more, though I seem to remember some game with a big side-on bike. I may just be thinking of Saboteur, did that start with a motorbike being ridden side-on? Clumsy Colin Action Biker ought to get an honorary mention; not side-on, but certainly in the same spirit and, I might go so far as to suggest, an early precursor of GTA in its drive-anywhere, do-anything attitude.

6. But there must be more, so rev up.

Yes, yes and yes!

Clumsy Colin Action Biker on the Atari800XL was awesome. I used to spend hours trying to get right round the rollercoaster that was in it!

Oh Colin.

18.gif

Obv the Kikstart games were awesome too.

There's a brilliant Trials Bike flash game available here too.

Edit: AMAZING SCENES! Just found a complete map of Action Biker here

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Although not quite side on, Enduro Racer was my all time favourite biking game of the 80's. I received it with a new Master System MK1 as well as a copy of HangOn. That game kept me going for months. Happy days.

enduroracerih1.gif

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Could you get Kikstart on the BBC? I have this memory of playing a side-on bike game and being utterly shite at it but I've never known what it actually was.

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Could you get Kikstart on the BBC? I have this memory of playing a side-on bike game and being utterly shite at it but I've never known what it actually was.

It wasn't Eddie Kid Stunt Challenge was it? You started off jumping barrels on a BMX, then after a couple of succesfull jumps you had to jump cars and then buses on a motor bike, timing your landing and the speed you left the ramp.

I used to love that game, god knows why, thinking back it was pretty poor...

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yr11_54a.gif

Ah, it's possible! I've got such a hazy memory of it by now that I'll probably never know for sure though.

Edit: I do think it was more of a racing game than just stunts though, thinking about it.

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Dare Devil Denis on the BBC. Total speed-induced mayhem. Silky smooth too.

Mario Excite Bike - a SNES iteration of NES Excitebike. It was a Japan-only download for some early SNES-internet download add-on (can't remember the name).

What a genre. Imagine a Kickstart 3 for the DS? That would be ace. Although the Kickstart games are obviously influenced by Excitebike, I think they took the concept to a new level.

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I knew you people would come though. That screenshot with the revs and speed bars brings it all back. The bike trials in GTA are always a favourite with me, but I didn't get on that well with Excitebike 64, sadly. But back with side-on games, there's just something about speeding up a cross-sectioned ramp and then flying into the air.

The mention of Enduro Racer reminds me that the '3D' Spectrum version used to amaze me, specifically the part where you'd go over a hill - somehow they managed to perfect the movement of the track and the bike to deliver that stomach-lurching feeling that no other game has ever matched, for me at least.

Kikstart over Live with 16 players and a course designer, I'd pay 800 points for that even though I know it to only be worth £1.99.

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If you've got a modern java-type mobile phone, 'Gravity Defied' is well worth a look. It's a side-on motorbike game, similar to Kikstart, only with vector graphics and rotating sprites. It's tremendous fun; I've had it for a couple of years now, and it's always a good way of whiling away a few minutes on the loo or waiting for a bus.

http://www.codebrew.se/gdtr/

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Super Scramble Simulator on 8 and 16 bit, was a follow-up to Kik Start by Shaun Southern. I don't think it's as good, but it is quite a challenge. Not only do you get a side-on view (with large biker) you also get a top-down view to align yourself with obstacles.

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Although not quite side on, Enduro Racer was my all time favourite biking game of the 80's. I received it with a new Master System MK1 as well as a copy of HangOn. That game kept me going for months. Happy days.

enduroracerih1.gif

Oh man, amazing game. That brings back good memories :lol:

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Merman just jogged my memory, I remember fond memories of playing Super Scramble on the Amiga, great game.

Shaun Southern also made the superb Lotus series and also the Supercars series if I recall correctly.

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I can't believe there's been 18 posts without this bad boy appearing:

24892.jpg

Shaun Southern also made the superb Lotus series and also the Supercars series if I recall correctly.

Have to give special mention to Kikstart, Shaun's a mate of mine and still a bloody damn good coder. He's a one man coding god, and I'd love for him to resurrect Kikstart on Xbox Live! He does own the rights to many of his old titles, that's why Trail Blazer was a launch game for the Gizmondo. He was fucking about in work and knocked up a version of it on PC, literally in one evening (Using some 3D tiles that yours truly had knocked up for another game).

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I can't find any screenshots, but Time Trax (don't laugh) on the SNES had a brilliant side on motorbike section where you had to shoot up a helicopter.

617435.jpg

\o/

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I can't believe there's been 18 posts without this bad boy appearing:

24892.jpg

Yep, that's a good one. Probably forgotten a bit as Codemasters have denied free distribution of all their retro titles. Tight gits.

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Have to give special mention to Kikstart, Shaun's a mate of mine and still a bloody damn good coder. He's a one man coding god, and I'd love for him to resurrect Kikstart on Xbox Live! He does own the rights to many of his old titles, that's why Trail Blazer was a launch game for the Gizmondo. He was fucking about in work and knocked up a version of it on PC, literally in one evening (Using some 3D tiles that yours truly had knocked up for another game).

Was Trailblazer the one with the ball going down the runway thing with different coloured squares? I loved that game! And chance of him sharing?

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The third and last game I bought for my Gameboy was Motocross Maniacs. I had no idea if it was good or not but it turned out to be an addictive little racer across a series of mad jumps and loops.

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Motocross Maniacs (if it's the game I'm thinking of) was great fun.

Anyone remember MotoX simulator on the C64? I think that's the one I'm thinking of anyway. Had some side-on sections, then some overhead stuff later on. I thought it was great back in the day. Frustrating, though.

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Super Spy had bits with a bike, but they were fairly wanky.

ATV Sim was the king though. Thank the maker for the C64.

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I can't believe there's been 18 posts without this bad boy appearing:

As soon as I saw the topic the first game I thought of was Kikstart II, the second was ATV Simulator. As I went down the page I was, like you, amazed no-one had mentioned it. It was actually pretty tough as I remember, but it was super-slick and great value, especially when it came out on one of those Quattro comps Codies used to put out.

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