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ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Chris Bourne

The Victoria to Brighton line has always been a firm favourite with steam railway enthusiasts and, at the beginning of '86, Hewson capitalised on a large minority's infatuation with trains with the launch of Southern Belle.

You take the dual roles of Driver and dfireman on the train through the 50 mile run and six levels of legitimate play.

Pressing the Enter key gives you that famous high speed run through an authentically depicted track layout. All the major features and atmosphere of the country side and small village stations are depicted. The bridges are actually drawn and even the sharp turns are realistic.

Each of the six main levels has a different schedule. Easy schedules include speed limits with stops at some stations - making it difficult to keep to your time table - while the higher level schedules stop the train at ever stop and pose built-in problems such as making a record-breaking run.

Your trips to Brighton are evaluated by the computer and a score totted up at the end of the journey which takes account time keeping at stations, speed and whether you've kept the steam in good nick. You can do all the usual things, like blowing the whistle, stoking the fire and slamming on the brakes but you should watch out for the error messages such as Unsafe Reversing or Train Derailed. Think of the passengers.

Okay, so you're not exactly in a joystick controlled driving seat for this one, but this stoking and shunting simulation will take you back to the good old days.

Label: Hewson
Price: £7.95
Memory: 48K/128K

Not Rated