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Continental Circus logo

Virgin/Sales Curve
Price: £19.99

Continental Circus Or should it be called Continental Circuit? One of the most impressively boxed coin-ops of 1988 now appears with slightly less glamorous trappings but with its gameplay still intact.
If you remember, CC was the world's first 'true' 3D driving game. The elaborate console consisted of a pair of glasses, with special filter lenses that alternated black and transparent, and you could only see through one lens at a time. The screen would be showing what you would theoretically be seeing through that eye at the time. Obviously this all happened amazingly quickly, far too quickly for the old Amiga, and so in their infinite wisdom, Sales Curve have decided to drop any thoughts of copying the system across and have opted for a more conventional race game. And what a race game!

Race around eight famous courses of the world. Of course, you have to prove that you're good enough to race them, and this is done simply enough by a ranking system. On each course you have to attain a certain rank before you are allowed to move. For example, you can't move onto track two until you have (a) finished track one and (b) achieved a rank of 80 or lower.

Controls are simple as simple can be. And when you've got a game as fast as this one, they need to be. No Hard Driving/Vette controls to be found here, just old-fashioned four way joystick controls and fire to change gear.
Graphically, it's about as close to the coin-op as you're going to get. The update of the road is incredibly fast and smooth, as is the update of all of the sprites.
Speaking of the sprites, they're among some of the best ever to be seen in a driving game. Large and crisp, they really add to the feeling of 'being there'.
The sound is pretty basic however, even though it is a fair copy of the original. A throbbing engine noise and a whoosh from the passing of cars are all that you're likely to hear, aside from the intro tune.
Response time is fast, and indeed it needs to be. Overtaking takes quite a bit of practice, as it has to be done quickly and in one motion, else you'll find yourself billowing smoke from a damaged engine, or, even worse, spinning off the track and exploding.

An excellent conversion and a brilliant driving game with enough variation between tracks to keep you playing for ages. Go go go!
Tony Dillon

CU Amiga, October 1989, p.27

SOUND
GRAPHICS
PLAYABILITY
LASTABILITY
71%
82%
80%
79%
81%


Continental Circus logo

Virgin, C64 £9.99 cassette, £14.99 disk; Amiga £19.99

Continental Circus If you've visited the arcades within the last year you'll probably have seen and played one of the hottest driving games around: Taito's Continental Circus. The main innovation for the arcade machine was the stereoscopic 3-D used – the screen is viewed through a pair of special LCD glasses.
No such gimmicks for the home version but otherwise the game's the same. In your super-fast Formula One-type car you must race around the track, reaching the checkpoints within the time limit.

Of course, you're not the only car on the track – contact with computer cars or signs at the side of the track causes your engine to smoke – if you don't get to the pits in time, the car will catch fire and blow up. If you're smoking (very bad for your health) and suffer a second collision, the car spins out of control, exploding into a welter of fireballs. Miraculously, this does not cause your death but slows you down as you have to start accelerating again from a standstill.

Starting in Brazil, you race around eight tracks all over the world, finishing up in Japan. On later tracks an added hazard are the occasional rainstorms which makes the track slippy. To qualify for these later circuits you must complete the lap within the time limit and overtake enough computer cars to achieve the required rank. Fail to do this and you lose one of four credits.
So put your foot on the accelerator and your hand on the gearstick to be first to reach the gorgeous redhead waving the chequered flag!

Zzap! Issue 55, November 1989, p.17

Phil King This was great fun in the arcades especially with the stereoscopic 3-D which heightened the excitement. Even though this is obviously missing from the home versions they retain the coin-op's fast, addictive action.
Technically, both versions are fast enough but lack any graphical frills – I was especially disappointed by the feeble smoke and explosion effects. The driving itself isn't that realistic, especially cornering where there's no need to slow down unless it's a really tight bend – on torturous circuits like Monaco you can even take short cuts across the grass! But it's the pace and simplicity of the action that draws you in and keeps you playing.
Unfortunately I found it just that bit too easy to complete the first few tracks and it doesn't get that much harder on the later levels.

Stuart Wynne Converting yet another racing game whose only unique feature, the 3D, would be lost might seem a silly idea. But while the finished game is completely unoriginal, it's been programmed well enough to be both attractive and fun to play. The 'extend' part of the game works well, providing a welcome diversion on fairly long tracks which don't change that much. Amiga owners benefit from a slightly faster game, but the C64 version is still very fast and much better value for money. All in all, two extremely competent and enjoyable conversions.

64

PRESENTATION 81%
No multiload. Good circuit diagram showing progress after race.
GRAPHICS 74%
Okay car sprites, nice side graphics and hills.
SOUND 76%
Fine engine drone, good 'Extend' and level-end tunelets.
HOOKABILITY 81%
Instantly playable...
LASTABILITY 70%
…but not much variety.

OVERALL
74%
An extremely playable coin-op conversion.

AMIGA

PRESENTATION 70%
Some attractive, digitized pictures between games.
GRAPHICS 78%
Fast 3-D scrolling and fine car sprites.
SOUND 68%
Dull engine drone and okay tunes.
HOOKABILITY 80%
Typical coin-op simplicity makes it easy to get into...
LASTABILITY 68%
…but changing courses and background graphics don't add enough variety.

OVERALL
73%
Simple, addictive Formula One fun.