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Kikstart 2

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Released: 1987

Genre: Racing

Format reviewed: Commodore 64

Publisher: Mastertronic

Developer: Mr Chip Software

Given that Retro Gamer shares an office with GamesTM and Play, it’s no surprise that lunchtime gaming is a popular activity here. In recent times, Sensible Soccer, Mortal Kombat X and Rocket League have all been brief obsessions, but there’s one particular colleague that keeps going back to the Trials series – and I can’t blame him at all, because I had the exact same experience with Kikstart 2 as a kid.

It’s easy to forget how tricky Kikstart 2 actually is – successfully navigating any course requires you to know the correct approach for each obstacle, be it a wheelie, a jump, high speed or low speed. Of course, any fall moves you straight past the obstacle that thwarted you and incurs a time penalty, which makes it even harder to learn. However, once you’ve got the hang of it you’ll blaze through the courses.

Of course, racing the CPU will only keep you going for so long, and it fell to other features to keep me amused over the long term. Thankfully, the two-player mode was able to keep things going for a while, as healthy competition is always welcome. But what really kept the game going for me in my younger years was the excellent track designer – and these days, I do get the urge to use it to put together a devilish challenge for my Trials-loving colleague. I might have to practice for a bit before I challenge him to a race though, because I’ve become rather rusty…