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Grand Prix Circuit

Moby ID: 1446
DOS Specs

Description official descriptions

Formula One racing is recreated in detail in this simulation. You have the choice to drive a Ferrari 187/88C, a McLaren MP4/4 or a Williams FW12, each with different qualities. Rival drivers also have their own styles and strengths, and to win the World Championship you will have to master these. Pitstop timing and planning is crucial as well, although only tires are changed in late-1980s F1.

You can choose whether to drive a single race at Brazil, Britain, Monaco, (Western) Germany [Hockenheim], Canada, Italy, Detroit and Japan [Suzuka] or to drive a full championship on every track. Every Race includes a qualifying round. The graphics in the game are sprite-based.

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Credits (DOS version)

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Average score: 77% (based on 15 ratings)


Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 50 ratings with 2 reviews)

Actually quite good.

The Good
Since Grand Prix Circuit is your run of the mill racing game, I will only add that it has some good graphics (given that it runs on an XT), simple but effective sound, good controls and reasonbly good level design.

The Bad
Not much really; I would wish for better sound, but then a mere PC speaker is no good. The game was also slightly on the slow side on my friend's old VGA-enabled XT (no kiddin').

The Bottom Line

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4538) · 2000

Classic Formula 1 game from the days of Senna & Prost

The Good
Some of the things I've said in my review for the game The Cycles, also by Distinctive Software, do apply to this game as well so you might want to check it out.

Once this one was part of a very small group of racing games I had and it was my only F1 racing game, so I spent countless hours burning rubber while playing it. The best thing about it was that for the first time you could get a "real" F1 experience. There are eight real tracks (including Monza, Monaco, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve etc.) and three cars from real F1 teams (Williams, McLaren and Ferrari). The three cars all handle a little bit different; the McLaren is the fastest one, the Ferrari was the best on circuits with a lot of corners and the Williams lies somewhere in between.

The interface & main menu are very well organized. The moment you take a look at it, you understand how it works.

I browsed the database for other racing games that were released in 1988 and I must say the graphics of Grand Prix Circuit are (were) top-notch. Especially the pit stop animation was very neat back then.

The Bad

  • If you've ever played the original Test Drive you probably noticed how its controls felt very awkward & jerky. Well, Grand Prix Circuit suffers from the same problems. The steering & handling of the cars is just not subtle enough. You can steer strictly to the left and strictly to the right but too little in between (long live the analog controller!).

  • The A.I. cars never have to make a pit stop. Because they never get off the track (and onto the grass), their tires never wear out. Since fuel is not a factor in this game it does make some sense, but it would have been more fun if they had to enter the pits every now and then.
  • Too easy. Some of the A.I. cars are not competitive at all, you can lap them after just five or six laps, even on the harder difficulty levels.
  • The engine sounds are produced by the PC Speaker.

**The Bottom Line**
It's not a bad racing game, but of course it is rather outdated. In my opinion racing games usually don't stand the test of time very well. A good story always remains a good story, so adventure & rpg games usually remain playable but limited disk space & memory prevented decent physics modelling so modern racing games are usually much more interesting. But the time I've spent playing this one proves it has its qualities (it's still a lot better than Pole Position).

DOS · by Roedie (5239) · 2003


Subject By Date
The woman on the box cover 1xWertzui (1135) Jan 5, 2018



If you know that the game's designers are Brad Gour and Don Mattrick, you'll probably realize where A.I. drivers Bruno Gourdo and Don Matrelli got their names from...


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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Julian McKenzie.

Commodore 64 added by Quapil. Amstrad CPC added by Kabushi. ZX Spectrum added by Martin Smith. Amiga added by Terok Nor. Apple IIgs added by Garcia. Macintosh added by me3D31337.

Additional contributors: Roedie, Patrick Bregger, Victor Vance.

Game added May 17, 2000. Last modified April 16, 2024.