The Ford Simulator
An interesting concept and pretty good driving game for the time, too.
This was the first time a major American non-computer-related company considered computer users to be a desirable marketplace so much that an entire advertising campaign was created specifically for them. Getting a free game disk bound into a double-page ad spread in a magazine was pretty cool (a free disk period was novel- remember, this was before AOL.. :) The simulator was fairly accurate (it modelled the individual physics of each car in Ford's line-up) and included a number of different ways to try out each car.
It made me realize the Commodore 64's days were numbered- the PC was being considered the standard. When I finally did get to try it, it was on a Hercules-graphics-based PC running a CGA emulator. Bleah!
The Bottom Line
Don't expect a Hard Drivin' or Test Drive 6. For the time-period, though, the Ford Simulator really rivalled commercial games in both depth and gameplay (and I'd put it up against the original Test Drive any day.)
This game really was a big deal back when it came out; it got rave reviews and write ups, and was a popular selection from PD game sources for years after. (Ford authorized the free copying and distribution of the simulator, so if you see it on an abandonware site, you can download it with a clear conscience!)
by Robert Morgan (1050) on July 11th, 2000