• Graphics
  • Sound
  • Playability
  • Lastability
FormatCommodore Plus/4
DeveloperSkoro Design
ReviewPaul and Dan

Main review

Vroom, vroom, rotate the throttle, slowly release the clutch, and away I go! Well that’s how most motorbikes work unless you are on the motorbike in Cross Motor, it reminded me of StreetHawk, normal speed, and “hyperthrust, cleared and counting: 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…!”. First impressions; I fired it up and got to the intro so I thought ok, fair enough, intro is the way he wants to explain himself (and I mean himself, he doesn’t give instructions or anything in that part) and why he created the game. When I hit space it told me “Please wait I’m de-crunching” and I thought “this is like a demo?” So I get to the next part, nice effects but again it looked like a demo so I pressed space again, expecting to see the de-crunching message again. But no, it jumped into the game.

After I got my magnifying glass out so that I could see the bike, I proceeded to work out the controls. I press right, and what happens, I speed up… Whay hey! I press space to jump and it jumps but the bike is being dragged back down to earth much quicker than it should so I couldn’t anticipate the jumps correctly at first. If you try to jump at the start speed you’re guaranteed to crash, so I tried with one speed faster and I managed to get over the jumps (well, three of them) and then I got to a part with what appeared to be platforms I could get up onto. I saw the graphics on the bottom part which I though was a jump pad or something, but nope – it kills you! It would appear you have to go under the platforms, with all those graphics in the background I was obviously distracted.

So, ultimately I died. Ah well, one life down and try again. Err nope, I only had one life. Okay, at least there is some realism here but we are talking about a computer game. I press space to start again, but nothing is happening. Ahhh, I notice on the screen, I need to press shift – excuse me, why shift? Back to the title screen, with that music (no comment but, next time I fire it up, I must remember to choose the “SID Player” since that stops the music and sound effects) and I read the instructions – it tells me the controls there, but no mention of shift.

So I restart and, with all the confusions of space and shift (I know it ain’t that confusing, but hear me out here), I try again and I think, “okay, can I press shift to jump?” And I can, so I am now well confused – why the use of shift and space, why not just stick to one?

As i play, it feels like I’m pulling this game down so try to give it the benefit of the doubt and play a bit more. And a bit more. And I’m sorry, I can’t do anything but pull this down. If you are at speed to clear the jumps and you get to a yellow smiley (or not as the case may be) face without changing speed, it kills you (because of the up/down timing). Okay, the next try I intentionally slow down and guess what, it kills me again but, to top it all, I didn’t even touch the thing! I managed to re-try this game approximately seven times in less then a minute, once you have mastered the whole shift to end and space to restart you can get back to the beginning in next to no time.

I suppose I have to conclude since I have pulled it down quite a bit, there is one word I would use to describe Cross Motor but I refrain from using it as there may be minors viewing this site. So I’ll use rhyming words… It is [rhymes with pit, hit, mit].

Second opinion

I have to admit, I have never, ever used a Plus/4 until I came to review Cross Motor so I was initially surprised by how good everything looked; it even has ported SID music although there’s no credit and it does grate after a while. Jumping into the action, space to jump, no problem, apart from I couldn’t get over the first obstacle which looks like a brown turd! Something must be wrong here, I thought to myself, so I tried pressing right and the bike shot up in speed so fast I died before I knew it. If I had read the instructions I would have known about the speed up and slow down bit, but, as the instructions were in a scroller I couldn’t be bothered (one thing I hate are instruction scrollers, why not have a separate file for the instructions?!)

After I worked out I could speed up and die and jump and die I gave the game a proper chance. Several moments later I died again and, with only one life, I had to go back to the start which began to frustrate me even more. And then I also got a bit confused with the whole shift/space bar pressing which frustrated me even more. There doesn’t seem to be a difficulty curve in this game, it just starts hard and continues to be hard, so even with a little patience I was struggling.

Presentation wise the game isn’t too bad, although the intro screen and scroller on the title page weren’t needed. The music is taken from the Plus/4s older brother, but it doesn’t seem to play well and just starts to add to your frustration. The graphics are just too small and some of the collision detection is a bit ropey as well.

This game could have been pretty good and damn playable (I remember playing an awesome similar game on the BBC Micro when I was at school which was excellent fun) but unfortunately has been ruined by its difficulty level and what I would assume is a lack of play testing.