Becoming a darling of the slopes

Advanced Ski Simulator logo

MY hunch is that people who watch Ski Sunday don't do it to see fine skiing. What they are hoping for is a real legs-and-polses everhwere fall. I mean, who cares whether the Austrian or the Swiss takes the downhill title? What matters is how well they can wrap themselves round a tree at 60mph.

Advanced Ski Simulator puts you in a head-to-head competition against a computer or human opponent over a rather strange course. It's not a downhill, although there are steep stretches. It's not a slalom or mogul run, nor are there large enough ramps to qualify as a hotdog. There are, however, plenty of obstacles such as huts, trees and rocks, and these certainly are a faster way of stopping than snowploughing.
Getting Air produces a bar indicator of how you're flying; Getting Piste merely produces an "ugh!" and a very sore head.

Presentation is good. The title screen acts as if the text was mounted on a rotating glass cylinder and moves very smoothly indeed. Hacker stuff. The title page tune is also exceedingly slick, with a well defined direction and enjoyable twiddly bits.

The game backgrounds are very pretty, though mostly white, and make the rather stick-like skiers seem very poorly drawn indeed. The incidentals (SFX, bucko) live up to the solid standard set by the rest of the program. I guess the development team got its friends to produce the human(ish) noises, all neatly digitised.

The idea, if you've never played a Code Masters "Advanced Activity Simulator", is to complete the course within a time limit, which becomes less as the courses become slightly more difficult. One of the two players can be either the computer or controlled by a fellow high-order primate. All the gates must be completed and a bonus is given for any time remaining.

The controls are a simple rotate method, with rapid hammering of the trigger giving a cross-country style pole action. Autofire won't help you here, so use a fairly expendable stick - it'll take a bashing and no mistake.

Advanced Ski Simulator has been produced to live up to the original 8 bit version while giving the advanced features that semi-parallel processing machines like the Amiga can provide.
It is unfortunate then, that the original 8 bit version wasn't the world's greatest mover. And as the Glasgow-based Highlander's development team had a rigid conversion brief to stick to, all the extra work is just window dressing.

Considering the original code costs two quid and this considerably more, at first glance ASS would appear poor value. The gameplay hasn't been altered, but everything else has. If the developers had been given free rein to interpret the game differently it could've been a good 'un.

Advanced Ski Simulator logo

Codemasters Gold, Amiga £19.99

Zzap's Back:'Cool! Wot a Logo!' Front:'You would say that! You can't see it! Anybody feeling a little put out because of the recent lack of snow? Well, fret no longer because, thanks to those chilly chappies at Codemasters, you can do a Fergie and slope off on the Piste whenever you wish, in the guise of Advanced Ski Simulator.

Viewed in three dimensions, this gem gives you the chance to compete against either the computer or a friend in a frozen frenzy down one of seven snow-lined ski slopes. It's release has been timed for the start of the new ski season, so don your thick, tastelessly coloured polar jacket, jump on the ski-lift and wipe-out...

Gordon Houghton Heard the one about the latest Codemasters Gold Amiga game? Someone bought it! Ha ha ha ha!!! Seriously, though, Advanced Ski is an exceptionally poor piece of software, made out as the best thing since Mother's Pride loaves by the completely OTT self-congratulation on the box. I mean, £19.99 for what is basically a souped up 8-bit budget game with a bit of sampled sound - come off it, guys! Only think about purchasing Advanced Ski if you're really into verbal insults.
Maff Evans After reading the prose on the box, I thought to myself 'Hey! This sounds really good!' Then I loaded it up. What a disaster! Apart from the fairly good graphics, which still aren't a patch on most games, there's absolutely no difference between this and the £2.99 8-bit budget version. The digitised sounds are crackly, and don't add to the feel at all; even worse is the fact that the skier disappears off the screen if he gets too far behind, making it almost impossible to get back on because of all the different jumps. I've saved my biggest gripe with Advanced Ski till last: the price. Twenty quid for software of this quality is daylight robbery.
Zzap's Nose: 'Jam'