Cleans right through to the shine

Wipe Out logo Amiga Computing Value Award

OOLD computer games never die. They just fade away into obscurity for a few years and then come back bigger, better and faster when you least expect them. If there are only six plots for "Whondunit?" novels, then there are even less for computer games.

Take this offering from the man with the big nose, Mr Gonzo. The object is to fly your hoverboard around a track, leaving a trail for your opponent to crash into. Sounds familiar? You remember Tron don't you? Of course you do - it was the Walt Disney film about a bloke trapped inside a computer who spent his time playing with baddies on light cycles. It has been calculated that the film generated more computer games based on the "surround your enemy" principle than the number of people who saw it at the cinema.

As smash hit written in Basic for every micro ever made, it's been a while, but now it's back. And this time it's in code with simultaneous split-screen, two player, three dimensional graphics.

Racing your hoverboard requires all the old tactical skills - designing bottlenecks, forcing loops and packing as much wall into as small a space as possible. If your timing is good you can attempt to ump a wall, but don't get too cocky, for it's not easy. One tiny error of judgement and you're history.

There is plenty to do in the background while waiting for the next competition. You can upgrade your hoverboard by adding brakes (your big pansy) and better engines with turbo boosters and go-faster stripes. Or you can bet on and watch the outcome of other races, thereby earning yourself more cash.

Then when you're really getting the hang of things, you can move to a new planet and challenge the racers there. If you do well, you can skip to a new solar system. And if you do really well, you may be called upon to take part in the All Time Greats Inter-galactic tournament. Your prize? Dunno. I didn't get that far. But if the entire universe off individual aliens is taking part, I suspect it's something pretty special. At least as good as a Blankety-blank chequebook and pen.

When it comes down to the technicalities of the game, the graphics might be a bit naïve. The sounds might even be a bit simplistic. Does this worry me?Naw, not a lot. And the reason for is that the game is fun. F, U, N, fun. The two player version is terrific. Look upon the single player version as a way of practising until your mate agrees to play again.

Of course, no gameplay is perfect. Wipe Out has several flaws, the most major of which is a completely incomprehensible front-end. Lots of little meaningless icons lead to numerous incomprehensible screens. You end up frantically clicking here and there on the little metallic grey shapes until the game gets around to starting.

By making the program a touch more user friendly, the considerable manual could have been halved in size. But when I'm heading at breakneck speed towards an energy wall with an alien on a Scorched Earth special board intent on sliming me, the only thought in my head is whether or not I can pull off a high speed backed turn and still survive.

Wipe Out logo

GONZO GAMES £19.99 * Joystick or Keyboard

Older game players may remember the game Tron, based on the film, in which two players rode along on light cycles that left a trail, the idea of the game being to force your opponent into one of the trails. Well, that is the basic idea behind Wipe Out. Of course, there is a lot more to it than that.

For a start, the one or two player game is played on Hover boards which are like skateboards that float on air. Bouts are contested in an arena, each bout consisting of three sets, each set of three legs. The first player to win two legs wins the set and two sets win the match.

Every match you play alters your position in the league (the number of players in the league depends which planet you happen to be on) and you gain or lose points depending on the outcome. As well as points, money can also be won and lost on the outcome of matches and it is the acquisition of money that eventually allows you buy better boards and travel to other solar systems.

New, improved boards generally have better top speeds, can turn tighter corners and some can even jump trails, which is especially handy when you are in a tight spot. When you start coming up against the better opponents you will want to give yourself every advantage and have a decent board.

You will also want to pick up extras from the arena if there are any available - they appear at random. These extras allow you to go through trails and even remove a player's trail, but activating them can be a bit tricky, especially if done using only the joystick.

Each season lasts 15 matches and at the end you are awarded a medal if you win the league. To challenge for a higher star rating (star ratings run from 0 to 8) you will have to jump to a higher-rated solar system in the galaxy and take on their bottom league player.

The game will only allow you to travel to another system if you have more game points than that planet's lowest-rated player, so progress takes some time. To keep things exciting in the meantime you can always jump to another planet in your own solar system, and battle it out on two new arenas.


There are only a few sound effects which can be best described as all right, but there is also music which plays throughout which is much better. The graphics are not brilliant and they do not move too smoothly giving the game a primitive look. This does not spoil your enjoyment of the game, however.


Absolutely loads of it. Working your way up through the ratings will take weeks of play, and just when you think you are getting to grips with an arena and can take on all corners, along comes a better computer player and you have to rethink your tactics all over again. And if you are playing with another human in your league things can really hot up.


It is a very tactical game. Not only will you have to have a quick joystick hand for those tight turns, but you will need your wits about you constantly if you are to win because this is not a game for cowards. Chances have to be taken and you have to go out there and force your opponent into making mistakes, rather than just waiting and hoping he messes up. A good game and a great start for Gonzo - let us hope they keep it up.


Viz never really came up with an Elite or Tetris classic, but they gained some notoriety with their games Werewolf of London and Frankenstein Jr. Their conversion work, which included such greats as Airwolf, Hypersports and Roller Coaster, however, was much better.

Wipe Out proves Gonzo have also got what it takes to make it, so we are waiting to see if they can keep up the good work with their next releases, Street Hockey and Brides of Dracula due later in the year.

Wipe Out logo

Ein neues futuristisches Sportspiel von einem völlig neuen Hersteller - das kann eigentlich nur außergewöhnlich gut oder unheimlich schlecht sein. Also, gut ist es schon mal nicht...

Wipe-Out ist das erste Game, bei dem ein intergalaktisches Hoverboardrennen "simuliert" wird und gleichzeitig hoffentlich endlich das letzte Game, das sich als müder Tron-Verschnitt entpuppt! Gekämpft wird in einer Arena: Die beiden Kontrahenten (Mensch/Mensch oder Mensch/Amiga) versuchen sich gegenseitig mit ihrem Schwebebrett den Weg abzuschneiden, indem sie Kraftfeld-Mauern hinterlassen. Sollte man mit seinem Gefährt in eine solche Hinterlassenschaft des Gegners hineinrasen, heißt es "Game Over".

Ein Spiel besteht aus drei Runden, die einen Satz ergeben, drei Sätze sind dann ein Match. Für jeden Sieg gibt es Kohle, die man in Extras wie ein besseres Board oder fiesere Mauern (z.B. eine Streumauer) investiert.

Um das uralte Spielprinzip aufzupeppen, wurde ein Ligamodus eingebaut; außerdem kann man mit Computergegnern unterschiedlicher Stärke oder einem Freund das Ganze üben, bevor es richtig ernst wird.

Das beste an Wipe-Out ist eindeutig die spannend geschriebene, deutsche Anleitung. An zweiter Stelle kommt der Sound: Gute Musik und gelegentlich ein paar recht ordentliche Effekte. Ansonsten gibt es langsame, ruckelige und häßliche Grafik, einen ganz besonders häßlichen Loadingscreen und ein nahezu unspielbare Steuerung.

Wegen der verunglückten 3D-Perspektive läßt sich trotz Miniradar nämlich kaum beurteilen, wo man eigentlich hinmuß. Der Spielspaß tendiert somit gegen Null, weshalb wir den Titel ernstnehmen und Wipe-Out einfach aus dem Gedächtnis streichen... (mm)

Wipe Out logo

PRICE: £19.99

Future sports return to our screens in the rather wet form of Wipe Out, from new boys Gonzo Games. Skateboarding is back in fashion and surfing has a whole sub-culture of its own, so why not combine the two and create rocket powered skateboards you can surf with? What an original idea, or at least it would be if 2000AD had not thought of it a few years ago.

The Intergalactic Hover boarding League is full of daredevil die hard types all hell bent on becoming the greatest hover boarders in the galaxy. On each planet, there is a league of about twelve players. The best players from each come together to form the system division, then the various sub galaxy leagues right up to the super league, where only the best in the universe dare compete. And the whole game can be won or lost on the strength of one match.

Each match is a one on one affair in an enclosed pitch, and to beat your opponent you have to smash them into a wall without smashing yourself. The game is played along the lines of the light-cycles section in the movie Tron - only a lot faster. The playing area is small, so that after a short while you find yourself having to make some pretty nifty manoeuvres just to avoid your own trail, let alone your opponent's.

You can find some handy little objects to help you on your way to mega-stardom. Small dots that allow you to disintegrate your opponent's trail, for example, or new hover boards that allow you to make tighter turns, or even jump over walls! The graphics are quite attractive, due to the use of different sprites for each character and the many varied backdrops. However, the scrolling is very jerky, making tight, accurate turns practically impossible.

It plays well. The controls are a little clumsy to begin with, but that is really down to the beginner's hover board you are grace with. Wipe Out is really nothing more than a few well worn ideas presented in an interesting way.

Wipe Out logo Zero Hero

What sounds like a Muppet, has a bizarre logo and a game whose name rhymes with Cow Pat (or... if pronounced Ciowe Pout)? That's right, it's Gonzo Games and their new release Wipe Out. Dave Wilson skated over for a closer peek.

Ever fancied hoverboarding in a battle to the 'death' with numerous weird alien creatures? Lumme! And this is precisely what's on offer in Wipe Out. the first offering from Gonzo Games. It features one or two player, head to head futuristic skateboard action rather akin to the Light Cycle game in Tron. Confused? Well, the game is actually, rather simple.

Basically, you do battle with a chum or the computer in different shaped arenas - your objective to make your opponent crash into a fixed arena wall, or the trail 'wall' left in the path behind your board.

The basic game then, is simple, bhut there's also numerous alien life forms, gambling, various different boards, championship leagues and rankings. Phew! Oh, and there's also interstellar travel. Each planet has a local league and different types of arena. Move closer to the centre of the galaxy and the standard of the competition gets higher.

You can travel from planet to planet at a cost and moving to a planet nearer the centre entails challenging a higher level player to a 'chicken run'! If interstellar travel is 'your bag', then Wipe Out boasts 1,100 stars and a possible 77,340 opponents all with individual characteristics. Eek!

Amiga reviewDavid: Heeeheeehaa haaheeeheha Wipe Out! Dee dee deee dede dede dede dede dede dede (What is this drivel? Ed.) Er... it's 'Wipe Out' by the Surfaris (Oh, Ed.)

Anyway, here's Wipe Out by the Gonzos and it's a (fairly) original game with quality coding and addictive gameplay. From the basic scenario of the game, there are layers of depth adding features including power up icons and hoverboards that jump!

The object of the exercise is to progress to the centre of the galaxy and the Hall of Fame. For this you'll need to get lots of cash by winning matches and betting on the performance of other players. You can then spend this on travel and better boards etc.

With the built in GonzoDos, you can format a League disk to save the characters you create. Use these characters to progress up the league, or you can opt for a head to head in practice mode. However, Wipe Out is deceptively deep, has rather a nice sound, a smooth scroll and is easy to learn, hard to master. Even the manual is humorously written in a style reminiscent of The Hitchhiker's Guide.

Gonzo aimed to produce an original game with the emphasis on playability - a return to the classic games of the past. Let me tell you, they've come pretty damn close with Wipe Out. 'Nuff said.