Sport Of Kings
Copyright/Publisher: Mastertronic/Sculptured Software
Release Year: 1986, Genre: Horse Sports, Number Of Players: 1 to 5
The latest release from MAD allows up to five players to partake in a simulated day
at the races. First of all the players decide whether the state of the course,
weights of jockeys and distances of the courses are to affect the outcome of each race.
Also, the number of horses running in the season is set at either 25, 52 or 72.
The main screen features aight icons which allow the player to display details about the
the next race, study each player's current financial situation, read the form book,
bet and start the race.
The other three icons allow players to join or leave a current game, load or
save the form books and accounts and print out a form or racing information.
Race information gives a list of runners and their odds and form cards give a list
of the performances of each horse.
At the start there are no form cards, so it's useful to run a few races and build
up a record. Bets are placed either each way, straight forecase or a reserved forecast.
When the players are happy with their choices the race begins.
The screen displays a panoramic view of the scrolling course withr a commentator
positioned in a box at the top right of the screen. The race starts and the horses
gallop off down the course until all have passed the finishing post, whereupon the
winners are displayed and any players who have successfully forecast the result are
As a single player game this doesn't work too well, but if two or more are playing
it really comes into its own. Winning and losing money creates a great atmosphere,
and the nail-biting racing scenes provide plenty of excuse for screaming and shouting
as the horses gallop up the course.
The comprehensive icon system is very easy to use, and the proceedings run
smoothly without unnecessary and frustrating delays. I enjoyed playing this, and
for three quid it provides an entertaining and enjoyable diversion from the usual
shooting or adventuring action.
Gamblers Anonymous will be having extra members if this is anything to go by.
I lost about a million pounds in a couple of minues - and didn't even care! Sport
Of Kings doesn't exactly look regal, but although the graphics are poor, they don't
detract from the playability.
The adrenalin still flows when your horse is a neck in front with half a furlong
to go, whether it looks deformed or not. Any game of this fashion is always best
when played in a group, and I would even go as far as to say that is is completely
useless as a single player game. If you do have gambling friends, get them round
for a harmless evening's entertainment at the races.