Glider Rider

A game of two tunes! You see there is a great action orientated track for when your whizzing around on your bike and when you take to the air the music changes to one that’s beautifully calm and serene. It’s superb stuff and the two tracks, as completely different as they are blend together to produce a well crafted and frankly stonkingly soundtrack.

The Game

You get a lot of time to think when you’re gliding on the thermals. Mostly the feeling of flying like a bird makes them nice thoughts, but everyone gets a little melancholy at times and this mission is enough to make anyone think hard.

One subject that has taken my mind recently is the word “volunteer”. I remember becoming one when I joined the “Silent But Deadly” squadron, but I thought that you had the chance to choose your missions; ie. attempt to avoid those that were likely to be suicidal. That isn’t the way the army see it. Once a volunteer, always a volunteer, seems to be their assumption.

This one has to be the last – one way or the other! If I succeed then my future is assured – I’ll be remembered in all the history books, rich beyond my dreams and set up for life. If I don’t … I don’t want to think about that.

Critical Reaction

A mixed again for this title, Sinclair User were highly impressed and rated the game 5/5 with a Classic awarded due to the impressive 128k soundtrack! Your Sinclair however rated 5/10;

Glider Rider just never gets off the ground. For starters, if our secret agent wants to get up any sort of speed he’d do better swopping his Kawasaki with Paperboys pushbike.
And no wonder hang gliding’s got itself a reputation It’s downright suicidal if this is the sort of control you have. One moment you’re pushing the joystick forward on a stairway to heaven, the next you’re stuck at the top of a polythene poplar. The perspective’s all wrong. If only the programmers had bothered to put in a proper scroll instead of paging from screen to screen.

Crash also gave the game some high marks, 80/100 for the 48k version and 92/100 for the 128k version. Quite a difference. The comments from the reviewers though doesn’t seem to agree with the rating;

“I’m not overly impressed with this offer from Quicksilva since it isn’t half as playable as it could have been. Because the playing area is nice, large and easy to get lost in and the blurb on the inlay sets the scene very well, on your first go it’s very easy to get right into the spirit of the game. The graphics are very good — the playing area excellently drawn and so is your character. There’s very little flicker and next to no colour clash as well. Unfortunately, sound on the 48K machine is limited only to the odd spot effect — it’s brilliant on the 128K version. On the whole I found it very hard to get anywhere in Glider Rider and I suspect it will need a lot more practice to complete it than I have time for.”

“For those depraved non-128K/Plus 2 owners out there, Glider Rider is a fun sort of game, and worth checking out, as the concept, playability and addictiveness are all very good. When playing the soundless 48K version, I was reasonably happy with it, but it’s the sound of the expanded version that really makes it top notch — on the 48K it’s merely good.”

My Thoughts

There is no denying that Glider Rider is a great game it’s just not as good as it should be. It’s fun to potter around on your bike getting the low-down on your various targets and it’s amazing the first time that you take to the air in your glider but the fun factor wears off quite quickly as it’s not an easy game, it’s really frustrating actually. The idea is to bomb various reactors but they are guarded by laser towers which you need to ram into with your bike before taking to the sky in your glider and bombing the reactor. The time that you have between hitting the laser and bombing the reactor is waaaaaaaaaay to short and makes it very hard to progress.

The Music

ZX Spectrum 128k

About Phendrena

Father, Retro Gamer, PC Gamer.

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