Bring me to the Main Page   Bring me to the Reviews Index

Crazy Cars 3 logo  Amiga Format Gold

While the shoot-em-up genre has stagnated, the equally simple-minded race-driving game goes from strength to strength. Let's burn rubber once more...

Crazy Cars 3 T he nice thing about race games like Crazy Cars is that you can sit down and play them immediately, often without even referring to a manual, because they use an age-old-concept; one that is easy to relate and understand.
We all know what to expect from a game of this genre, don't we? Push forward to accelerate, steer left and right to avoid other cars and pull back when you want to stop, right? Wrong. For, as you may well remember, Crazy Cars II tested your map-reading skills as well as your driving, and now Crazy Cars III goes into even more depth.

Take several desperate and reckless drivers with powerful cars, a perfectly innocent public-road system and some transport police, and you'll have some idea of what a typical Crazy race involves.

The first thing you notice when you begin driving in Crazy Cars III is that the game generates a good feeling of distance between you and the cars ahead. Far along the road in front of you, dwindling tail-lights of the leading cars appear and disappear quite realistically on the horizon; an effect which was not carried off as effectively in Lotus Turbo Challenge II.

Crazy Cars 3 Get it loose
Different weather conditions also have a greater bearing upon the game than in Lotus, with each climate producing its own car-handling characteristics as well as a change of scenery. Weather conditions are sometimes generated randomly, so it's possible to have snow falling upon the cacti as you drive along desert roads.

Different towns also have different scenery and who is to say whether or not you will race at night or in the daylight hours? A large range of scenic views is to be found within this game, each one of them well-drawn and moving past very swiftly... now I want a real Lamborghini!

Cash, as well as climate, is important. Prize money for finishing in pole position is double the race entry fee, but for finishing third you make a 50 per cent loss. So winning the race outright is practically the only way to make a profit. The only alternative is to wager other competitors in your race that you will finish before them. Unfortunately your opponents are very good – you have been warned! Money won at a race can be used to improve your car through the purchase of various add-ons, which is a welcome feature. The hardware store sells new and faster gearboxes, wet-weather tyres and super brakes, which are all ludicrously priced but improve your car's performance greatly. The most expensive is, surprisingly enough, the good old nitro fuel, costing an incredible $50,000. For your hard-earned money you get 10 seconds rocket-powered mayhem, which increases the car's speed by about a third. This has the effect of practically turning it into a low-flying aircraft, so I suppose we must grudgingly accept that the race is more interesting when nitro is used rarely.

Babylon business
It's a fair cop – even in America. Police are to be found patrolling the highways, giving you even more hassle. Apart from the patrol cars which chase you when you accidentally (or otherwise) hit someone, there are also radar-operated camera speed traps along the road.

Police wielding hand-held speed-detectors also give chase frequently. They are excruciatingly annoying, but give the game much more flavour. And, as they try to ram you off the road (because you've been, er... ramming other people off the road), the game bears a very strong resemblance to Chase H.Q. (your car even becomes labeled with a huge arrow saying 'Offender' on it). N.B.: a sneaky trick to play when the cops are around is to shunt an opponent into a police car, thus turning him into an offender.

All in all, Crazy Cars III has amazing durability because it keeps on changing, the races run smoothly and quickly, and terrain is presented really well. From the word go, you have a challenge on your hands. It is certainly much harder than the recent Lotus and Jaguar race games, but in the long run this just means that you'll carry on playing.
Paul Tyrell

Amiga Format, Issue 38, September 1992, p.p.64-65

Crazy Cars 3 - Hardware store

Well, here I am at the Crazy Cars equivalent of Halfords, and there are lots of juicy things on offer. The devices are as follows, starting from the top row and working from left to right:
Radar detector, this useful gadget tells you police are ahead, so that you can slow down to avoid their radar;
Turbo boosts, that's ridiculously priced nitro fuel to you and me; snow tyres, the grip these provide is crucial for icy stages;
New automatic gear box, a self-shifter that will take you up to 336kph;
Superbrakes, these babies give unsurpassed stopping power;
New manual gearbox, this will take you up to 336kph as well – and it's $5,000 cheaper.

Crazy Cars III
Titus * £25.99
  • 15 different locations in each of the four divisions, masses of varying terrain and weather make this a big game.
  • Curiously, the same people appear in each division, but with differing driving ability.
  • Nice intro, sound and graphics which move fluidly all the time and don't look like cardboard cut-outs.
  • A two-player mode should be seriously considered for Crazy Cars IV.
  • Errm... why is the Lamborghini on the box yellow, when the one in the game is red?
verdict: 93%

Crazy Cars 3 logo

Die Gaspedal-Ritter werden derzeit richtig verwöhnt: Erst vor kurzem ließ Core Design die brandheiße Asphaltkatze "Jaguar" aus dem Sack, jetzt schickt Titus die dritte Auflage der verrückten Boliden hinterher!

Crazy Cars 3 Zum Glück hat Crazy Cars III mit den wenig berauschenden Vorgängern kaum noch etwas gemeinsam, auch thematisch werden diesmal völlig neue Wege befahren: Hier wird kein fieser Terroristenring gejagt, stattdessen gilt es, die ebenso beliebten wie illegalen "Saturday Night Races" zu gewinnen.

Der Solo-Racer muß sich zunächst zwischen Automatik- und Schaltgetriebe entscheiden und anschließend die Frage beantworten, ob sein Lamborghini Diablo per Feuerknopf oder Stick beschleunigt werden soll. Im Trainings-Modus kann man sich dann 15 der insgesamt 60, in vier immer schwerer werdende Lägen eingeteilte Rennen erst mal unverbindlich anschauen; beim eigentlichen Wettbewerb ist nämlich vor jedem Start eine Antrittsgebühr zu berappen. Mit den eingeheimsten Siegprämien sollte man daher haushalten, wer zwischen den Rennen sein ganzes Geld für Breitstreifen und Motortuning verjubelt, steht auch nicht besser da, als ein Bruchpilot, dessen Karre wegen zu vieler Karambolagen den Geld aufgegeben hat.

Totalschäden sind hier jedoch selten, denn die Konkurrenz stellt keine großen Anforderungen an den Spieler, die Polizei ist auch nicht immer auf Zack, und das Wetter (Schnee, Regen, etc.) hat kaum Einfluß auf das Fahrverhalten. So komplex wie "Jaguar" ist Crazy Cars III also bei weiterem nicht, aber dank flotter und abwechslungsreicher 3D-Grafik, brauchbaren Soundeffekten und einer prima Steuerung macht die Berg und Talfahrt mindestens doppelt soviel Laune wie ihre beiden Vorgänger zusammen. (rl)

Amiga Joker, September 1992, p.34



Amiga Joker
512 KB

Crazy Cars 3 logo

Titus return with yet another racing game. Tony Dillon is in the driving seat...

Make no bones about it, the first two Crazy Cars games were dire. Although they both featured highly attractive sprites, the movement both of the road and the objects on it was so jerky that little or no impression of movement was created – and chronic sprite detection rendered the games unplayable. Naturally, I can't say I was looking forward to the third in the series. How wrong I was, though, as CCIII is really quite good.

Cast as an illegal racer, you are part of a league which spans the width of the USA. Starting in Division 4, you must work your way into the pole position through a combination of driving, gambling and expansion.

The most vital thing to have in Crazy Cars III is money - and lots of it. Each race costs money to enter, and the more money it costs, the more you stand to win. But that isn't the only way you can earn big bucks. In most of the races, other drivers from your league table will be competing against the locals, and before each race you have the chance to gamble with these riders, all of whom are betting money on themselves to win. They will rarely bet more than 1500 dollars at a time but, even so, that's a lot of extra pocket money.

Cash isn't just used to enter races, though. For each season, there are a host of improvements you can buy for your vehicle. These range from a modest police radar to full tune ups and extra gears – the latter pair increasing your top speed for instance. You can go without buying extras, but they do give you a much better chance in the harder races.

Crazy Cars 3 Obviously, the racing section is the most important part of the game, and I'm happy to say it works well. Titus have opted for the now-standard two-tone scrolling road, although the width of the strips is far greater than in previous titles. Core's Jaguar, for example, has 32 strips from horizon to foreground. CCIII has roughly eight. This, coupled with the small number and size of roadside objects helps the game run at a cracking pace. Objects glide past smoothly, as do the other cars, and everything is fairly convincing. It lacks the sophistication of Lotus - especially as the corners are represented by the road suddenly bending to one side – but it still works well.

What doesn't work so well is the handling. The car tends to swing about a hell of a lot, even with the smallest joystick movements. This means that, when you overtake at high speeds, nine times out of ten you will end up hitting a roadside object. In addition, all corners look the same, yet have varying degrees of force making it impossible to compensate for bends most of the time making accuracy a frustrating process. With practice, it is possible to get used to these quirks, but they shouldn't really be there in the first place. If it wasn't for the playability problems, Crazy Cars III would be an excellent racer – although it does make its forerunners look really trashy. As it stands it's quite good, but rather too frustrating to be truly addictive.

CU Amiga, September 1992, p.60

MAPPING IT OUT The US map displays the location of all the races left to run. The ones marked in orange cannot be entered yet as you don't have the money, but any others are ready for your attention. One exception to this rule, though, is the star in the centre of the map which represents the division challenge, rather than a race, and the only way to get onto this is to earn enough cash to buy a pass. Once you have completed the challenge – a timed race against some tough juggernauts on a narrow stretch of road - you are eligible to move up to the next, harder division.

buyers guide
release date:
number of disks:
number of players:
hard disk:
August 1992
Arcade racer
In house
Any machine


TITUS £25.99
The best of the series, but there are better racers...