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
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