Crazy Cars

by Gil Espeche, Olivier Corviole
Your Sinclair Issue 30, Jun 1988   page(s) 67

Reviewer: Sean Kelly

'Listen carefully, I will say ziz only once. I 'ave 'ere a petit game from ze French software maison Titus, and I want a quick review, or else', said T'zer, chucking Crazy Cars in my general direction. So, putting on my reviewing head, I set to.

The object of this game is to zoom across America at top speed in the Prestige Car Race, not even stopping to get a Little Chef or collect your Tiger tokens. There are five levels of difficulty and on each there's a track made up of ten sections. Each track also has three locations - Arizona, NASA and Florida. Yes, I know this sounds confusing, but all it means is that the buildings on the horizon change every time you complete three sections of a track.

Although it isn't made clear in the inlay, you can choose your level of difficulty, and your car, before you race. The choice of car is between a Porsche, a Lamborghini (wooh!) and a Ferrari (even bigger WOOH!). And as you progress across America, you must avoid bumping into other cars, or driving off the road, as these will slow you down loads, as well as ruining your chance of a no claims bonus.

This game has some really neat touches - the car sprites are excellent and the way you whiz down dale and up hill, flying into the air if you hit a bump, is excellently done. However, the good points are far out-numbered by the bad. When I first saw a screenshot from this game I expected to be playing an Out Run type racing game, but on playing I discovered it has more in common with Pole Position, and even lacks some of the features found in that golden oldie.

There is no sense of achievement on completing one track, as you just go on to the next level of difficulty, beginning the same track again. It is also difficult to learn a track, as they just swing from left to right, and go on, and on, and on... There are no trackside landmarks such as signs, trees or advertisements scrolling by either, just the standard poles to give an indication of speed. On the earlier levels of difficulty it is also a rarity to see any other cars at all. You just go on whizzing left to right, left to right ad infinitum (it felt like it anyway).

There are also many annoying little things which mar this game, the major one of these being the 'Game Over' message. If you do not finish a section in the allotted time limit, then the 'Game Over' message flashes up on the screen - ten seconds before your time runs out! if you then complete the section within the ten seconds, the message disappears, and you carry on racing. This is annoying at best, and downright sloppy at worst. Also the way that cars hit you from behind, having suddenly appeared from nowhere and leaving you no time to avoid them, is very annoying and frustrating.

The only thing crazy about this game is the price, as it offers nothing new, and that which it does offer is available elsewhere, better and cheaper. Definitely one to try before you buy.

Graphics: 7/10
Playability: 5/10
Value For Money: 4/10
Addictiveness: 4/10
Overall: 5/10

Summary: Run of the mill racing game adding nothing new to the genre.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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