Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Arcade Scrolling Race Game
Author : Phil Whitehurst
Standalone Release(s) : 1987: DESPATCH RIDER, Audiogenic, £9.95
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron Side A, BBC Side B
Actual compatibility : As stated
Supplier : AUDIOGENIC, Winchester House, Canning Road, HARROW HA3 7SJ
Disc compatibility : CDFS E00, DFS E00
"Dick Decker has yet another new job, as a Despatch Rider with the Dorkin Despatch Agency. Darren Dorkin, the owner, has lent Dick his powerful Yamasaki 750, and Dick dare not damage it for fear that he might lose his job.
If he loses his job his whole life will be in ruins, since his long-suffering fiancée Debbie has given him just one more chance to get a steady job.
Can you help Dick deliver the mail to the Royal Snail offices whilst avoiding the road works, burst water mains and other hazards?
DESPATCH RIDER is a challenging test of your reactions and digital dexterity that will keep you amused for hours on end."
Name - Dick Decker
Occupation - Despatch Rider
Task - To save your job (and your neck!)
Since leaving school with just two CSEs (needlework and tap-dancing), you have been a failure, flitting from job to job without ever discovering where your talents really lie. Now you have once again put away ye olde UB40 to take up an offer of employment from the Darren Dorkin Despatch Agency. As you jump on your supercharged Puch to go to work on the first day your lovely fiancée Debbie waves farewell with these departing words: "If you don't keep this job, then the wedding is off!".
Your arrival at Dorkin Despatch is no less disturbing. The owner - 15 stone of leather and grease - states that you cannot use your trusty Puch for the despatch runs, and until you get a new bike you his have to use his Yamasaki 750 which, considering it is 660cc more than you have ever experienced before makes you feel, uh, a little panicky. Especially when Mr Dorkin warns that if you damage his bike you'd better keep your crash helmet on "'coz you're gonna need it, mate!"
Your task of the day is to collect mail bags and deliver them to the Royal Snail offices. Time is short and the Yamasaki engine is very thirsty, so you must ensure that you don't run out of petrol by refuelling en route. The slower you go, the more petrol you'll need (There must be a leak in the petrol tank!).
There are road works along the route, but you don't have time to use the diversions - use the ramps instead. Make sure you avoid the cones and the deep puddles from the burst water mains, and above all don't forget to pick up the mail. If you do make a mistake you will have to start all over again.
If you do manage to complete the morning's work by delivering all the mail sacks to seven different offices at the end of seven different streets, you'll still have the second post to do! Not only is there likely to be more of it, but the streets will be busier and the mail more difficult to collect.
Mr Dorkin has started a new ratings system to find out who is his best rider (and who gets the sack); for each mailbag safely delivered a bonus of 1000 points will be given. If you can only get to Number 1 your job at Dorkin Despatch will be safe and Debbie will be yours.
A - Track Up, Z - Track Down, < - Slow Down, > - Speed Up
P - Pause, S/Q - Sound/Quiet
Instructions' Source : DESPATCH RIDER (Audiogenic) Back and Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User) - "Two Wheeled Terror"
Dick Decker is one of life's failures. Veteran of a dozen previous jobs, his fiancée has given him an ultimatum - get a steady job or the wedding is off.
The Derek Dorkin Despatch Agency provides Dick with a 750cc Yamasaki speed machine and a further warning - bend my bike and I'll bend your head! With two such supportive people behind him how can Dick possibly fail?
His job involves delivering mail to the Royal Snail offices in separate streets. The road is divided grid style, giving five lanes along which Dick can ride. Pressing the up or down keys causes the bike to change lanes.
Response is instantaneous, but it is very easy to forget that the keys do not auto-repeat, which often results in the loss of a life, and you have to start all over again from the beginning.
As Dick rides along the street, the screen scrolls from right to left. The faster he rides, the faster it scrolls. This can be rather jerky at times, but considering that it's all done by software (It's a hardware scroll on the BBC Micro version) it is quite good and perfectly acceptable.
Audiogenic provides a generous seven bikes which are lost through collisions and lack of fuel. Across the top of the screen is a fuel gauge and the bike is kept topped up by riding through barrels labelled gas.
The bell rings as you touch a barrel, indicating refuelling. Often you encounter four barrels in a row, but unfortunately the bell only rings once. To make the most of this abundance of fuel you must perform some rapid lane changing.
The Yamasaki has a rather unusual fuel economy characteristic - it uses petrol at a constant rate no matter how fast you are going. Therefore, the faster you do the less likely you are to run out of fuel.
I don't know where this town is, but the roads are an absolute nightmare. Each street is strewn with cones, burst water mains, concrete blocks, tacks and greasy patches. All appear to be positioned in such a way as to cause the most inconvenience.
In many instances the obstacles completely block the road ahead. In such cases there is fortunately a ramp just in front of the roadblock which will send you sailing over the hazard.
Due to a combination of no shadow on the ground below the bike and the length of time spent airborne, you can never be quite sure whether you have landed and moved up the road one lane or are still in flight. This minor niggle aside, I found DESPATCH RIDER a very testing and enjoyable game.
Sound ........................... 7
Graphics ........................ 8
Playability ..................... 8
Value for money ................. 8
Overall ......................... 8
Jon Revis, ELECTRON USER 5. 3 (Jan 1988)