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Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge logo

Mit dem Programmierteam Magnetic Fields hat Gremlin ein paar Jungs unter Vertrag, die wirklich Benzin im Blut haben: Nach dem tollen „Super Cars“ kommt jetzt das nächste Rennspiel der Sonderklasse!

Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge Die Lotus Challenge ist von der Präsentation her eine absolute Wucht! Das fängt schon an, ehe man noch zum ersten Probespielchen startet: Zu einer fetzigen Titelmelodie zeigt das Intro den Wagen unserer Träume, wie er einladend mit seinen „Schlafaugen“ klimpert. Dann erscheinen diverse Tafeln, die alle Fahrzeugdaten und das Interieur des Luxusschlittens präsentieren. Wer auf die Piste will, drückt den Feuerknopf und landet im Hauptmenü: Hier kann der Schwierigkeitsgrad bestimmt werden, ob man alleine oder zu zweit an den Start geht, und ob Automatik oder Schaltgetriebe bevorzugt wird. Zudem kann auf eine alternative Steuerung gewechselt werden, wo nicht durch Drücken des Joysticks nach vorne, sondern mit Feuerknopf beschleunigt wird. Ehe es dann endgültig auf die 32 Rennstrecken aus aller Welt geht, wird am Car-CD-Player noch die passende Sound-untermalung ausgesucht (vier verschiedene Melodien oder FX pur). Luxus, soweit das Auge reicht, aber wir haben unser Wägelchen schließlich nicht (nur) zum Angehen - marsch, marsch an die Startlinie...

Amiga Joker Hit Um sich für die nächste Strecke zu qualifizieren, muß man zumindest als Zehnter durch’s Ziel rauschen. Die ersten drei Kurse machen da auch kein ernsthaften Schwierigkeiten, spätestens ab dem siebten Lauf wird’s aber haarig: Scharfe Kurzen, Steine auf, bzw. Löcher in der Fahrbahn, und Konkurrenten, die beinhart versuchen einen von der Piste zu drängen, sind dann an der Tagesordnung. Außerdem reicht für manche Strecken die Tankfüllung nicht aus, dann muß ein Boxenstop eingelegt werden. Wer hier meint, unbedingt volltanken zu müssen, verliert wertvolle Zeit! Gleiches gilt für Unfälle, auf spektakuläre Crashs muß man aber verzichten.

Zu zweit macht die Raserei am meisten Laune, es genügt übrigens, wenn sich nur einer der Fahrer qualifiziert. Der Split-Screen zeigt das Rennen für jeden Piloten extra, wer alleine unterwegs ist, muß sich mit der oberen Bildschirmhälfte begnügen – unten wird eine chice Grafik eingeblendet. Das ist aber auch das einzige Haar im Süppchen, denn Lotus Challenge spielt sich einfach großartig! Die Steuerung ist durch und durch gelungen, die 3D-Grafik nicht nur schön, sondern auch ordentlich schnell und nahezu ruckelfrei (daß alle Gegner gleich aussehen, stört nicht weiter). Alle Begleitmelodien sind mitreißend, die FX erinnern aber oft recht deutlich an die von „Super Cars“. Sei’s wie’s sei, Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge ist ein Rennspiel der Spitzenklasse, das man sich einfach nicht entgehen lassen darf! (C. Borgmeier)

Amiga Joker, November 1990, p.27

Der Amiga Joker meint:
"Der Lotus hängt die Rennspiel-Konkurrenz ganz locker ab!"

amiga joker
Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge
Grafik: 84%
Sound: 83%
Handhabung: 85%
Spielidee: 42%
Dauerspass: 87%
Preis/Leistung: 80%

Red. Urteil:
Variabel
86%
Preis: ca 84,- dm
Hersteller: Gremlin
Bezug: Joysoft

Spezialität: Für jeden Schwierigkeitsgrad wir eine eigene Highscoreliste geführt, aber leider nicht abgesaved; auch darf man seinen Namen nicht eintragen. Zudem lief unser Testmuster nur mit 1 MB, mal sehen, wie es um diese Dinge in der Verkaufsversion bestellt ist.



Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge logo  Zero Hero

In which Ivan Hawksley puts on one of those rather slinky all-in-one fire-retardant suits, wiggles his bottom in a Jackie Stewart kind of way and drives very fast into the back of the car in front...

Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge Being something of a sports car fan – and a man who likes to live in the fast lane – I do get a bit excited whenever a flashy motor becomes the subject of a driving game and Gremlin's latest racetrack outing, Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge, is no exception. (I bet you buy motorbike magazines for the pervy pictures in them. Ed.).

Now, thanks to Gremlin and Magnetic Fields (of Super Cars fame), the thrill of having a large, throbbing, red Lotus 'under your bottom' is available for a measly £24.99. Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge gives you the chance to drive your own flashy, red, willy substitute and burn the opposition off the track on a variety of different circuits around the world. You can have either 1 or 2 player head-to-head action (hence the split screen), so you can race against a fellow Lotus freak ( driving the other flashy red Lotus in the bottom half of the screen). Not to mention the other 20-odd competitors, all driving flashy, white motors.

The action is fast and furious with three main levels of difficulty: Practice (for the namby-pamby shandymen), Medium (for the not so quite namby-pamby lager toppers) and Hard (for the totally cool pint-of-Crème-de-Menthe-with-a-straw lunatics). Each level is pretty tricky – calling for sharp judgement and reflexes at full power – and just to make things even more difficult, each international circuit has its own obstacles and characteristics (patches of killer ice and rock falls in Finland; heat, dust and unexpected roadworks in Mexico). Add to this hills, S-bends and a field of competitors which includes some of the most reckless drivers you've ever seen, and you've got yourself a bit of a 'hard' race! Finishing in 10th position or above qualifies you for the next race. (In head-to-head competition, there's a special 'handicap' facility which puts the slower diver in front for the nest race, making it a more even contest). And with not 1 – not 2 – but 32 (gasp!) international circuits to compete on, the Nigel Mansells of this world won't be disappointed.

GRAPHICS 89

SOUND 90

ADDICTIVENESS 91

EXECUTION 89

OVERALL

90

Zero, November 1990, p.p.40-42

Amiga Review Ivan: Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge delivers the things most driving fans want. Sexy sports cars, great graphics and pure speed combine to make it one of the best road games to appear on the Amiga for yonks. The screenshots may look ordinary, but the speed at which the track and scenery scroll is breakneck and very smooth indeed. Some of the game's features are dead groovy – particularly the two player split screen perspective. Both players can check out their respective race positions, lap times and whether they need a pit stop to refuel.

The engine sounds are excellent too. Listen with glee to that turbo roar as you hit the downhill straight! Wince as you skid off a bend and smack into a trackside tree! There are also manual and automatic gear options, and even an in-car Stereo CD Player with a choice of several tunes (if you're going to crash, it might as well be to a racy bit of music).

My only niggle – being the psycho that I am – is that there's not enough destruction: when I hit a tree, a pile of boulders, or another car at 140mph, I want exploding fireballs and bouncing hub caps; an element of feat might have given a delicious extra thrill to the action.

Having said that, overall Lotus Esprit is a very good game and destined to become the new lap leader in straightforward, no-nonsense racing games. Well presented, fast, and great fun.

HASSLE FACTOR: 0
No turbo trub.

WHAT'S WHAT

TITLE
PUBLISHER
FORMAT
PRICE
RELEASED

Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge
Gremlin
ST/Amiga PC to follow
£24.99
October



Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge logo  Zzap! Sizzler

Gremlin, C64 £10.99 cassette, £14.99 disk; Amiga £24.99
Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge Gremlin certainly take their Lotus licence seriously. Apart from loads of very swish techy Lotus stuff on the Amiga intro (time to first speeding ticket, etc), they've issued all the competitors with Lotus Esprit Turbo Ses. That way however poor the human players are, an Esprit always wins!

The only way of telling the cars apart is that the competitor cars are red, with a one or two on the bumper to show who's who. If you can't find a friend to fill the second car, the lower half of the screen show the car in the pits (I thought Lotus's reliability problems had been solved!). In any case the tracks ahead provide plenty of challenge, with rocks in the road, slippery oil spills and water pools to slow you down. Longer races also require refueling in the pits. The biggest challenge, though, is those crazy computer cars, 18 of them turboing about with many manically weaving across the road.

There are a total of 32 different worldwide tracks within the three skill levels: seven in easy, ten in medium, and 15 in hard. In every race, points are awarded to the first ten drivers home – these are totaled to determine the World Championship. As long as at least one human player finishes in the top ten, both players can carry on to the next race.

Players have a choice of automatic or manual gears, and two control methods – either pushing forward or holding down fire to accelerate.

Zzap, Issue 72, April 1991, p.p.76-77

Phil King The 3-D in Lotus is remarkably fast – especially considering the split-screen effect – and you really feel like you're bombing along at incredible speed. I also like the way the roads undulate realistically – it's an amazing feeling zooming up to the brow of a hill at full throttle, not knowing what hazards might await you on the other side! Both versions are technically impressive, with the more speed and cars than is believable. In fact the C64 version is a little bit too fast – the cars are so big that you don't have much time to react as they zoom in off the horizon.
For both versions the computer cars make things very tricky, homing in on you and requiring you to serve quickly one way then the other to overtake. Later levels are even more tense with rocks and oil pools littering the road plus the need to stop and refuel. Although playing solo is fun, Lotus is really designed as a two-player game. This is where the real excitement lies with each driver pushing the other to the limit, daring each other to take extra risks – especially with quick refueling! At the same time, however, ensuring at least one of you gets into the top ten adds an intriguing twist to the otherwise highly competitive races.

Stuart Wynne This just has to be the fastest racer yet! The cars rocket along at exhilarating, arcade-standard speed. It's immense fun to weave through the pack, dodging past the slowcoaches, cursing the fellow driver as his Lotus overtakes you and then laughing as he comes to grief and you roar past. This makes it instantly, compulsively addictive. However there is a negative side: the graphic variety isn't extensive and with only fuel to worry about, strategy is rather limited. Tunnels, weather conditions, worn tyres or at least different colour computer-controlled cars would have helped it dramatically. Lotus works brilliantly as a two-player game; on your own it loses quite a lot of its entertainment value. It's technically excellent but in the gameplay stakes doesn't advance the racer idea an awful lot (Pitstop II has more depth).
As to differences between the two versions, like Phil I found the C64 game toughest, but both are technically stunning with all twenty cars appearing on screen on the Amiga (twice over, in fact due to the split-screen), and the C64 managing a respectable five or six cars per screen. Such big, fast-moving cars mean the C64's collision detection isn't always immaculate, but the sheer spectacle more than compensates. Great fun on both machines.

C64

PRESENTATION 74%
No intro, otherwise as with Amiga.
GRAPHICS 93%
Amazingly fast with swarms of cars on the road. Not much variety though.
SOUND 84%
Choice of three good tunes or reasonable FX.
HOOKABILITY 92%
Automatic gears make it quite easy to get into, while two-player gameplay is compulsive.
LASTABILITY 87%
32 tracks provide a huge challenge, plus there's manual gears to master.

OVERALL
90%
Fast and fun.

AMIGA

PRESENTATION 70%
Nice intro, control options, choice of music, practice track, three skill levels, track records (unfortunately not saved to disk). Send away for 'Lotus licence' if you beat game.
GRAPHICS 92%
Beautifully detailed and extremely quick – faster than any other race game, and with two players! Cars are a bit dull, background graphics don't change dramatically but there's some spectacular hills.
SOUND 82%
A choice of four good rock tunes or enhanced FX.
HOOKABILITY 93%
Arcade speed and simple gameplay makes for rapid addiction. Utterly compulsive with some friends to compete with...
LASTABILITY 83%
...and then there's 32 tracks, three skill levels and the manual gear changing to master. But game structure is simplistic for real long-term play.

OVERALL
90%
A brilliant two-player game.