S hoot ‘em ups are coming thick and fast for the Amiga but not the racing games. Crazy Cars is one of the first (and hopefully not the last) game of its kind on the Amiga. You do not actually race, instead the aim is to go through six American tourist attractions which are Challenge Florida, Challenge New York, Challenge Space Shuttle, Challenge Mountain, Challenge Arizona and finally Challenge Malibu.
As soon as you load Crazy Cars you are confronted with a simple but effective title screen which is accompanied by some digitised rock music which we see quite frequently on Amiga games nowadays. Then there comes the information on your car, this sequence reminds me of Test Drive except that Test Drive is a heck of a lot more detailed. Now you are ready to run! Ignite that engine, release the break, hit the pedal, and try to control the car up and down ramps and bumps at 200 mph. As if that was not exciting enough your car gets upgraded every now and then, what will they think of next?
Now we come to the graphics. On the whole they are extremely detailed with subtle touches such as Disney World and the Statue Of Liberty but they remain firmly on the horizon. The scrolling here is acceptable but could have been a lot smoother. The cars themselves are nicely detailed and immediately recognisable as Porsches and Ferraris, but the one slightly disappointing feature is, that the game is very fast – the approach of the cars looks extremely jerky.
Thankfully though there is no flickering on anything in the game. However, there is also a lack of graphics on the sides of the road, it looks like 20,000 multi-coloured bees trying to get into a single hive at the same time. The most you get to see on the side is the occasional signpost; which is terrible and way below the Amiga quality and detail we now demand. Sound is also disappointing. The revs of the car sound like the last words of a young dyslexic, otherwise the only other noise you get is the title music that as I mentioned earlier is digitised. There should have been music all the way through the game, that could have compensated for the bad engine sounds.
Nevertheless despite the bad sound and jerky graphics the game kept me up all night, something about it makes it very addictive and playable, maybe it is because the game has a hint of Out Run in it because it uses popular road cars instead of the ubiquitous formula 1 cars. Nevertheless that is as far as Crazy Cars get in similarity to Out Run. One other is that there are absolutely no crashes, all that happens is that the car jumps up a foot off the ground like it had a bad case of hiccups and you end up losing half your speed. I also think the game seems quite easy, it gives you a generous time limit.
Even though it is far from the Amiga’s best, somehow it will still keep you playing for hours.
CU Amiga, January 1988, p.p.82-83