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: Neighbours (ZX Spectrum)

Neighbours is an Aussie icon, which is probably the main reason people actually know where Australia is in the first place. One thing I have noticed is that people in Australia don't seem to care much about it anymore. After talking to our UK member, Stacy, and her almost-unhealthy love for Neighbours, made me believe that she is only one of many of Uk'ers that love the show more than we do.

Therefore it makes sense that there is a Neighbours game that came out on a UK based system which never made it to Australia. You may ask what system this is? Well, after eBay-ing to the point that I made my credit card run away out of fear of debt collection, I got my hands on a ZX spectrum and a copy of this game.

(Hillbilly voice) Never seen ya around these parts...? You're kinda funny lookin'!

What should be said before I really get into this review, is the game is about skateboarding - which takes place around the block of Ramsey Street. I find this funny because in the show you rarely see outside the back half of the street. You won’t remember any of the characters in the game because they all left almost 15 years ago apart from Harold but even he is said to be leaving the cast soon.

Neighbours the game, which could be mistaken for 720 Skateboarding on the NES at times only with less colours and less fun, underlies a horrible boarder, which looks like you’re looking through a TV into another TV. The whole game you can see "Grundy Television" to the left side of the screen. If you didn't see it the first time, they repeated it 2 more times just in case.

Have you seen anyone actually stand on a skateboard with a motorbike helmet? Doesn't that remind you of something?

Is it actually Samus in Neighbours?

The colours are bland and for some reason they almost remind me of how bad 3D mode was in Rad Racer on the NES, because that's the feeling I get when I play this - it just feels wrong. The music in this game is horrible. In the title screen, I'm only guessing is the theme song. The beeps / midi is so bad that I can’t tell what the hell it is, like something from an early basic code beep sequence.

The game play is where it gets fun, or so I thought. The controls just down-right suck and never seem to respond the way you need it to. I'm wondering if there is another reason this game never made it to Australia. Such as for the fact the game is promoting skateboarding on the street and what's worse is the grown-ups don't seem to be looking twice before they cross the street which was a big advertising campaign at the time in this country. But hey I'm thinking too much now.

Neighbours is a crap idea to bring to a game, I mean what can you possibly make into a game? Actually... Wait ... I've got an idea - they should have made Neighbours street cricket (The game with the stick, wickets and a ball for our US readers). I think everyone has been dying for a non serious street cricket game. Remember how Toadfish and the gang were always out on the street playing cricket and they would have to move the wickets when a car rocked up. Anyways, I'm assuming that at this time period in the Neighbours time line, there must have been some skateboarding craze that I was unaware of. I remember the whole BMX craze in the mid 90's but I must have been so into The Ninja Turtles in the early 90's that I stopped caring to watch the show as a kid.

Making this game seems like a waste of time to me considering no Aussie would be able to play it. But then again it's bigger in the UK anyway. We love Home and Away here but I can't help but feel that it's b-grade to Neighbours, but then again so is this game.

Ranted by Doug

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