Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge

aka: Lotus I
Moby ID: 10773
Amiga Specs

Description official description

The first in a series of 3 racing games endorsed by the legendary car company, which is now a part of Proton.

The game features a total of 32 fictitious racetracks from around the world, split into 3 difficulty levels. There are 19 computer opponents (15 on the 8-bit versions) and you have to finish in the top 10 (top 8 on the 8-bits) to progress. The higher you finish in one race, the lower down the grid you start for the next race. The opposition drivers have pun names based on the F1 drivers of the day - examples include Ricardo Pastry and Crashhard Banger.

You can choose between sound effects or one of a variety of music pieces. The game features a simultaneous 2-player mode, but the 1-player mode only uses half the screen, a simple animation filling the other half. In most races you will have to make a pitstop for fuel in order to reach the finish. The tracks include features such as oil slicks, roadworks, boulders and rivers - contact with these (or the other cars) will slow you, but there is no car damage model.

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Credits (Amiga version)

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 84% (based on 30 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 47 ratings with 2 reviews)

A classic Atari ST racer

The Good
The graphics were average for the game although the graphics tricks used does give you a feeling of speed. The music is probably the best thing about the game, there are some really good tunes from Ben Daglish that are worth the load time just to listen to them.

The Bad
The AI of the cars was very annoying, they would cut you up while going round corners making you crash into them and lose speed. Another thing about the AI would be that they seemed to slowly zig zag down the road. The only other annoying thing was when you hit any of the obstacles the car would steer into the next obstacle.

The Bottom Line
The gameplay is really quite straight forward. Fight your way up to first place and stay there for a few laps. The higher the finishing place, the higher the number of points scored and the higher up the league table you'll be.
The developer also included a fuel gauge so on certain tracks you've have to refuel your car. If you don't refuel your car and you run out of fuel then you'll finish last and of course that means no points.

It's a fairly decent racer with good music and average graphics. It has some annoying problems but if you can try an over look them then you'll find a game worth playing.

This game is a classic that everyone should have in their Atari collection.

Atari ST · by adam payne (9) · 2006

One of the best racing games for the CPC.

The Good
This game is easily one of the best racing games ever seen on the Amstrad CPC.

Graphics are detailed and move well, circuits have small details to tell them apart, and the fact that sometimes you have to refuel in order to finish adds some extra tension and a drop of strategy into the mix. Hey, it even has a great two player mode.

The Bad
I used to play on a green monitor, therefore I was kinda shocked when I saw how monochromatic display is. It's understandable, of course, as the Amstrad needed to sacrifice colours in order to access to higher resolutions.

Still, the two main problems with the game are the "enemy" AI and the display.

Starting with the display, you are restricted to half of the screen, and although it works well enough the detection of obstacles is a bit awkward. Gremlin would solve the issue in Lotus 2, but this is the only entry in the series for the Amstrad.

About the AI, it's good enough, but too aggressive. Other cars like to block your advance, and this, together with the restricted field of vision, can make things very frustrating in certain spots.

The Bottom Line
The concept can look dated these days, but on its time this was one of the finest racing games ever produced. It's still very playable today, if you can ignore the dated looks.

Amstrad CPC · by Neville (3554) · 2007

Trivia

Competition

When originally released, Gremlin ran a promotion whereby anyone who completed all 3 difficulty levels by winning their respective championships was given a code by the game, and could send this to Gremlin's office to receive a spoof 'Lotus License'.

Driver Names

The opposition drivers' names are all puns on Formula One figures past and present. It's slightly unfortunate that the first two figures whose names were punned to die were James Hunt and Ayrton Senna - known in the game as 'James Haunt' and 'Ayrton Sendup' respectively.

Spelling Error

The game's introductory sequence includes charts and graphs demonstrating the performance of the real life Lotus Esprit - some of these are said to be 'based on Goverment fuel economy figures'

Awards

  • Amiga Joker
    • Issue 01/1991 – #5 Best Sports Game in 1990
  • Amiga Power
    • May 1991 (Issue #00) - #45 in the "All Time Top 100 Amiga Games"
  • Commodore Format
    • July 1993 (Issue 34) - Modern Classics: Driving Games

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Lotus Trilogy
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  • MobyGames ID: 10773
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by 80.

Atari ST added by Martin Smith. ZX Spectrum added by Martin Smith. Amstrad CPC added by Игги Друге.

Additional contributors: MAT, Martin Smith, Picard, Patrick Bregger, Victor Vance, Jo ST, FatherJack.

Game added January 22, 2004. Last modified February 22, 2024.