Before we go any further can we all just agree that this is one of the best bits of box art ever? It made me want the damn game.
ST Format Review
For this review I’m running Steem with my usual 1MB STFM (tried an STE but it did not go well). I’ve used a lot of Automation images so I thought I’d do a Medway Boys one instead – this is image 57. The image unrols down the page and then various slices of it scroll vertically as chip music plays, a graphics equaliser does its thing and the scrolly text does its thing. I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for Medway Boys intros as the first scene image I remember acquiring (in about 1998 or 1999 I think when I discovered ST emulation online) was their image with Kick Off 2 on it. I remember downloading loads of stuff from Tik’s Atari Palace on Geocities and just being amazed it was a thing, and being stunned by being able to play these games on the PaCifiST emulator.
So the loading screen is nice enough – the game menu then plays over a demo run of the game which is a nice (and surprisingly modern) touch. Pressing fire gets you a little scene with a message coming over your pager (how 80s) and then straight into the game.
So the game gets started and the road movement is quite gentle, and the car is pretty easy to control, all the more surprising as this evening I’ve had quite a large amount of rum. Still, being professional for a moment, the road moves smoothly, and the sensible choice to use small sprites pays off (albeit at a cost of the road being wider than Silverstone F1 circuit – and I can say that because I’ve driven on it). I can even use my left hand on the joystick while my right hovers over the mouse to get screenshots, instead of my usual routine of trying to get a screenshot and then dying horribly (which is why my life counters and scores often look like shit in screenshots).
Here I am crashing into a criminal. I’m, not sure if I might be hurting my car doing this.
He’s definitely on fire but I think I might be too..
And I pull over alongside the perp.
Got him! Nice sampled speech “You’re under arrest” in contrast to everything else just being chip music.
So to discuss the game for a moment, it is undeniably smooth, but playing it for a while it becomes clear that the cost to graphical fidelity is perhaps too high. Cars look hideous, the road itself has non-stripey spells and they look awful, in a way it’s another of those games stuck half way between 8 bit and 16 bit. Additionally, it’s perhaps a touch too easy if I can play it half-pissed. Roll on Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge.