Roller Coaster

by S. Brockelhurst
Elite Systems Ltd
Sinclair User Issue 47, Feb 1986   page(s) 70

Publisher: Elite
Programmer: S. Brocklehurst
Price: £5.99
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Kempston

The ride on this roller coaster is all work and no play, but the rewards are worth the effort. The glimmer of gold is in your eyes as you survey the fairground which is scattered with nuggets.

You enter the fairground perched on top of a group of kiosks from which you can jump in two directions. The first jump takes you to three pieces of gold which you pick up by moving over them. To reach them you will have to jump onto a circular lift, made of platforms which continually move upwards, and then through a waterfall. The water will knock you off your platform and reduce your ten lives by one.

A short hop onto another platform then onto the huts will give you two pieces of gold, a further long hop, up to the log flume sign will get you the last piece. Be careful not to fall into the trap of believing what the signpost says. Following the arrow to the edge of the screen will bring you crashing to your death.

To get to the next screen you must descend to the kiosks, jump into the boughs of the palm tree, and leap off the edge of the screen.

The log flume is on this screen - it's a long ride taking you across five screens. First, though, you must jump to a pile of logs which hold more gold pieces. Accomplishing that, jump down to the start of the ride - which is protected by a deadly turnstile - and wait for the log car.

Before you reach the end of the ride, on the final screen in fact, you should jump from the car and onto another log pile which again contains gold nuggets.

Jump up to the palm trees at the edge of the screen and walk onto the next. That contains a cafe with an umbrella which moves up and down, and a lift which revolves around a spinning wheel.

Falling onto the lift during its downward are you can pick up a few points before jumping to the ground floor of the cafe to get to the next ride.

The house of fun is one of the most intricate rides in Roller Coaster - barring the waterfall lift on the first screen. It covers two screens, the first of which is an obstacle course, and involves moving across a jerky conveyor belt while jumping over red rocks and collecting gold.

By now your score should be pleasantly high, but you should not forget the rides on the other side of the start point. If you want to gain access to them you must go through the waterfall and enter the flying saucer ride which is a challenge to co-ordination.

Anticipation is the most important factor on the ride which consists of a circle of chairs whirling round the screen. You must jump onto one of those chairs, fly up to the palm trees, strip them of gold and then get back into the flying saucer.

Your exit point is at the bottom left of the screen. Leap into the hole in the ground and you will find yourself in another cafe with yet more chairs. Those are speeding round the screen at an incredible pace. Once you have given those a whirl you can jump to the ground and move on to the big wheels - a combination of whirling chairs and merry-go-rounds.

The mini-dodgems are next, and then you can float off down the river caves. You will be pleased to hear that you are near that famous roller coaster.

However, it is a real disappointment, just another ordinary ride on which you collect gold points. It does, however, take a long time and a lot of skill to get to the roller coaster. Perhaps the programmers thought of the ride as a reward rather than punishment.

Although Roller Coaster has a simple, one objective plot the number and diversity of rides makes it entertaining and irritating - most of the action involves jumping or falling of some kind. The game bears a slight resemblance to Jet Set Willy as you must work out which way you should move around the screen. However, it goes further because your actions on one screen may dictate your death on another. Not all signs and exits are passports to other rides. Roller Coaster may seem an after-thought release by Elite, but it is way ahead of most of the Willy rip-offs.

Overall: 4/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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