Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Remember the amazing coin-op which looked like Hang-On, but made you feel sick by going up and down hills? Well, this Enduro Racer has nothing to do with that.
The idea is the same - guide your motorbike from one end of the dirt track course to the other before the timer hits zero - but instead of the over-the-shoulder viewpoint of the coin-eater, you get a smart aerial view of the proceedings as the course scrolls diagonally past.
It wouldn't be enduro without some things to jump over, and there are loads of bumps and burns between you and the finishing post. You can just go powering over these like the uncontrollable speed demon you are, but you’ll waste valuable seconds recovering from the crummy landing. To save time there's a special technique for jumps (basically, flick the joystick back as you hit the ramp). If you get the timing right, the bike gets catapulted off the top and lands miles away without losing speed.
When you reach the end of the course, the number of other competitors you passed is totalled and turned into tokens which can then be traded for extra equipment to tune-up your bike. Slap in a new engine, or some uprated suspension and you'll be burning more rubber than a junk yard.
(Image caption) Making like Eddie Kidd in Enduro Racer
Not a bad cheapie, this one. It's nicely executed with a silky smooth diagonal scroll, and some smart backgrounds - especially the rocky mountainside terrain. If you're a speed freak you also get some amazingly fast action: tool up and things really start to shift!
The single soundtrack is pleasant enough, although you'll be reaching for the volume control by the last race. Effects are limited to the quiet murmuring sound of the bike's engine, plus noises for explosions and sinking in water!
With only five different tracks (repeated to make the full ten courses) you don't get much variety, and you'll easily finish the whole meeting in less than a week. That's fine if you like the challenge of beating your own best time. But if not, Enduro Racer won't see the light of day again once you're past the final finishing post...
A fun race game that's just too easy to finish. A two player head-to-head option would have been a real belter, but...
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