Written by  :  Martin Smith (66828)
Written on  :  Jan 24, 2006
Platform  :  Amstrad CPC
Rating  :  4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars
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Perhaps the CPC's greatest racing game

The Good

Whereas the 16-bit computer release was an over-ambitious mess of graphics moving disorientatingly and jerkily, the conversion for the Z80 systems knew the machines' strengths and weaknesses and worked within them. The game moves impeccably fast and smooth, controls are responsive, actual racing techniques in cornering and acceleration are effective, and the difficulty level is set about right, with lasting appeal aided by the challenge of getting a string of gold medals rather than simply qualifying in 3rd place each time

Graphics and sound are also extremely impressive. Running up bridges with a drop beside you is just as exhilarating as it should be, and the range of hazards are all depicted accurately, with great engine and contact noises - for once, sound isn't an after-thought.

The Bad

The only real flaw is one form the arcade game, and many racing games of the era - the fact that the other cars are obstacles rather than opponents. Contact will always send your car spinning to a halt while theirs continues unimpeded. The game's difficulty is balanced around this, so it's not a major problem - after all, arcade games don't have to be 100% realistic.

The Bottom Line

Race a sand buggy through five sequences of five circuits, each over 4 laps against 11 opponents. This was very popular in the arcades, and converted much better than most Sega arcade games of the time - this is one of the few that the inept Tiertex weren't given with the apparent intention of tempting people to buy a Genesis. Fans of the game would be well advised to check this out, to see just what a machine which was starting to decline commercially was capable of.