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Macadam Bumper (1985)      

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Details (Amstrad CPC) Supported platforms Artwork and Media
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Audio cassette

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Amstrad CPC
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Atari ST
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Your Reviews

Issue 1 (Nov 1985) (Amtix)   15th Jun 2016 08:26
PSS, £7.95 cass
Pinball table simulations have managed to weave their way onto most home micros, probably an indication of program-mers' misspent youth roaming the arcades. Now appears Macadam Bumper, first of this genre to reach the Amstrad. Licenced from french software house Ere Informatique. PSS's Macadam Bumper contains all the pin table features and options found in the arcades.

The first thing to appear is an amazing loading screen of a punk in trendy attire bent double over an active pin table. The screen loads in as a block of memory and takes a good five minutes to appear Once loaded a menu presents itself, replete with options
Attacking the program at its lowest level, a mere pinball simulation, you choose the play option. It soon becomes appa rent that the programmer has really tried to recreate a pin table as accurately as possible bee ause the first thing you need to do is press the insert coin button. Press start and the table sets itself it up just like a real one. Vou have control over left and right flippers plus nudge left and right keys. To start, hold down both flipper keys and the spring with steel ball on top will pull itself tighter. When you think you've got the correct tension let go and the ball hurtles itself to top of the table. The nudge keys are the equiva-lent of giving the table a good bash to try and stop the ball from disappearing down the hole. Hold a nudge key down for too long and you go into 'tilt' and then you cannot operate the flippers. When using nudge the screen shakes violently and bait is swayed from its course.

Also included is a comprehensive screen editor allowing your dream table to be conjured up on the small screen The editor is split into two sections, the Options screen plus the actual Editor. The Options screen allows fine tuning of various options that affect the way the ame plays. You can alter how uncy the cushions are or change the maximum ball speed. The point system is also flexible, allowing the user to change how many points should be awarded for various events.

The Screen Editor is an all or nothing affair. The machine allows only one screen to be held in memory at once so it would be wise to save out the default table before trying to change any-thing. If you change an object, it stays changed. The editor dis-plays the preset objects on the right hand side of screen and the keys used to select them. If you want to create any of your own objects then you can the use the draw keys. Pressing CTRL in conjunction with these keys will cause them to rub out instead. Once your masterpiece is com-plete you can save it to tape.
PSS are running a competi-tion for any budding pin table designers. The best design they receive will win a genuine pin-ball table.

Control keys: definable.


This game has the best loading screen I've seen to date, although it does take ages to load. As pinball games go this is quite a good one - the demo game is playable but I couldn t see myself playing it for more than a few goes Once you get bored of the table provided you can define your own pretty easily Graphically this one isn't anything to write home about but they do their job and as for the sound, it could be a little more realistic but it is also adequate I wouldn't go out and buy this game simply because I don't think pinball was made for conversion onto computers, I'd much rather play the real thing in the local
Though not overly keen on this type of game. Macadam Bumper made a qreat impression from the start with what has to be the best loading screen graphic on an Amstrad to date. It really is amazing. Loading screen aside, the game is quite good as well. Even though the inertia and gravity is a little bit unrealistic, with the ball doing strange and unlikely things at times, Maca-dam Bumper is very playable indeed. The editor is a good idea though the implementation lets it down. Allowing only one screen in memory at once, the editor can be a bit tricky to use allowing not much room for mistakes. After erasing the left hand barrier by accident a strange little bug appeared. If you fire a ball onto the table it's then likely to bounce all over the score board. Overall a good game, despite the editor's inefficiencies, though I feel a lot more could be achieved with this type of game.
Game 'construction sets' seem to be catching on, what with The Quilt for adventurers, and a recent range of 'kit' games from Ariolasoft on the 64, many of which I hope we'll soon be seeing out soon for the Amstrad. Macadam Bumper is what I would call a very slightly missed attempt, which is to say that it's really very good, but it left me with the feeling that it could be a fraction better in some respects. The game you get is fine, but in itself won't hold attention for ever, and the real essence of the program, the editor, is a bit weak andslightly unfriendly, which is a pity, since it stops this from being excellent. Of course, there's the argument that you may not enjoy playing pinball, but if you do then Macadam Bumper is good value and a lot of fun can be had with it.

Presentation 78%
Packaging a bit naff, though the menu and editor options more than make up for it

Graphics 81%
An amazing foading screen plus some nice on screen statics make a good impression

Sound 68%
No tune though the sound ef-fects are above average

Playability 82%
Very playable, holding onto all the hooks that makes arcade pinball fun to play

Addictive Qualities 62%
Fun to start with though interest may fade after a short length of time.

Value for Money 83%
A very reasonable price for a good piece of software

Overall 78%
A passable attempt to bring the appeal of the pintable to the small screen

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This title was first added on 1st January 1970
This title was most recently updated on 15th June 2016

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