Format reviewed: Game & Watch
Submitted by: Crispian Driver
A couple of years before santa dropped my beloved Spectrum down our chimney, i relied on my handheld video games to give me my gaming fix. BMX Flyer is still to this very day one of my favourite video games and has lost absolutely none of it’s charm and playability.
Released at a time when BMX bikes were at their commercial peak, riding off the wave of films like BMX Bandits and the infamous silhouette flying BMX past the moon scene in E.T, this game was bound to be successful. It does have cult status and is surely one of the most fondly remembered handhelds of it’s time.
You take on the role of the very imaginatively named Flyer, and your main aim is to avoid obstacles and hazards to keep meeting your beloved sweetheart who is flying nearby in her hot air balloon, the game contains several stages which get progressively difficult.
Playing in quite a similar style to Moon Patrol and Moon Alert, the game is played with just four keys, up, down, left and right. The four buttons used to deal with different types of hazards. Up was used to jump over other BMX riders in front of you and to meet your sweetheart. Down to cycle down dips. Right was a wheelie to negate, rocks, holes and to avoid bombs being thrown from a madman in helicopter above you. Finally left was used to flick up some dirt to deal with bad BMX riders coming up behind you. Along the way you could pick up energy bottles, which you need as your energy gets sapped avoiding all the perils.
BMX Flyer, certainly plays best at night, like lots of other LCD games, the screen showing up beautifully in the dark. I used to hide under the sheets pretending to be asleep on a school night playing this with the sound off. Speaking of the sound, it has a very catchy but eventually annoying tune playing throughout.
I cannot stress, how beautiful and playable this game is, my original one died years ago, but i picked up a boxed one with all the polystyrene and instructions on ebay a few years ago and still play it occasionally.
A very, very faithful version of it can be played instantly by going to www.george-gardiner.org. (without the last fullstop).