April ‘88

Players take on the role of Omar Khalifa, the legendary Sudanese athlete who has decided to participate. Starting from the El Mowheli relief camp in Sudan, he has limited time to raise a flag and light a flame in each of the six continents. Khalifa's journey has him pass famous landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, the United Nations, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Mt. Rushmore, the Sydney Opera House, the Colosseum, and the Eiffel Tower. There are multiple routes on each continent.

What the press said

Map from the Spectrum Version

Raceagainst_FullMapMini.png

ACE drawn map with solution

ACE-TheRaceAgainstTimeMini.jpg

Bob Geldof, the man behind Band Aid which was massive in mid ‘80s, helped organise Sport Aid in May ’86, in which we had taken part. In ’87 they announced they would be doing it again in ’88 culminating in a 10km charity fun run to be held simultaneously in 89 countries on 25 May. Bruce Everiss, Head of Marketing at Codemasters, thought it would be great to be involved and asked if we’d write a game for the event. The Darlings also agreed with all profits going to the Sport Aid charity.

We had about 3 months to write a new game for the event and decided that the player should take the role of the champion Sudanese runner Omar Khalifa, who was going to take a torch around many countries during May to promote the event. We based it on the Dizzy formula and its codebase which was very popular at the time.

We drew a beautiful world map, on Christmas day I remember, and many iconic buildings from around the world. Like a Dizzy game, players would have to explore and unlock routes to visit all the countries.

However, when promoting the game, we realised that a more approachable, arcade game may well have been a more appropriate solution. Something like Bomb Jack.

More than 20 million runners in 76 countries ran in Sport Aid and is still the biggest sporting event ever organized, sadly the game didn't set any records.

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