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Stuntcar racer 
logo  Zzap! Sizzler

MicroStyle, C64 £9.99 cassette, £14.99 disk; Amiga £24.99


Stuntcar racer T he world’s first official motor races were held in France in 1895, and the speed-blurred trip from there to 1989 is well covered in the manual. But it is the future that holds most excitement. The1990s see all sorts of chemicals fill the petrol tanks of racing cars. New, super-efficient engines, nitrous injection and ‘sticky’ tyres mean 1996 racers can accelerate at over 1G, or 0-60 mph in two seconds! With such incredible car performance, attention turns to the racing tracks. In 2006, 500ft elevated ‘stunt tracks’ with massive ski-jumps are introduced.

By 2006 the tracks have become unbelievably dangerous, but you are not scared, are you? After all, a fair proportion of your body is synthetic, and dropping down to Division Four should make for a really easy first couple of races, shouldn’t it?

Control of your supercar is relatively simple. Pushing forward on the joystick gives acceleration, pulling back brakes or – if you are at 0 mph – reverse (useful if you are dropped back on the track just before a big jump). Once the joystick has been pushed forward the car will continue to accelerate unless you brake. Pressing fire shoots nitrous into the engine, making flames come out of the exhausts for super-acceleration, but you have only got a limited amount.

Your car will automatically follow the road, unless it is airborne – as is often the case – but that does not make it easy! The dashboard has all the usual dials: speed, laptime and distance from your competitor, plus a chassis crack! This is at the top of the screen, and lengthens during hard landings and tight corners – if it reaches the right-hand side, the car is wrecked and you retire (giving extra points to your opponent). There is also structural damage, shown by holes, which stays with you throughout the season (unless you are in ‘easy’ division four).

Your objective is to win Division One. There are four divisions, each with three drivers and two tracks. There is also a Super League for Division One champions. This League takes you right back to the bottom of Div Four, but both you and your opponents can now accelerate much more quickly, with higher top speeds. A racing season involves six races – at the end, the driver at the top of the division is promoted. You get two points for a win, one for the fastest lap time.

Any of the tracks can be practised, although there is no opponent to race against. Your game position can also be saved, as well as a Hall of Fame with the fastest laptimes. If a season is going badly you can choose to ‘replay’, going back to your last save position.

There is also a multi-player mode. Up to eight players can participate, racing against computer opponents for the highest position. If you load in a single player game position in the Super League, then you have access to all eight tracks and the superraces! The whole thing can, of course, be saved.

Zzap Christmas Special, Issue 56, December 1989, p.p.74-75

Phil King This is one of the most exhilarating racing games I have ever played. The solid 3-D tracks move amazingly fast: akin to riding on a rollercoaster. But even better, you literally fly over jumps and come crashing down with a thump, the car wheels bobbing up realistically, only to bounce up in the air again. And when you crash, it is really spectacular as the whole world seems to spin around before you hit the ground in a cloud of dust. I lost count of the times I wrecked my car, but the game is so much fun to play that it never got at all frustrating. And with eight tortuous tracks and a whole host of different computer drivers – who all have their own driving styles – you should be kept playing for months.

Stuart Wynne Despite all those imminent, mega-hyped coin-op conversions of race games, it is unsurprising that the most imaginative is an original game. Racing on a nausea-inducing, rollercoaster race track is the sort of lunacy you might expect of a British programmer. But could anyone but Geoff Revs Crammond make it this believable? The race track and competitor car move perfectly – at last a C64 game with solid 3-D vector graphics to boast about! But beyond the first race, there is a big range of competitors and tracks all crammed – and unbelievably – into a single load. Quite simply awesome. And while the Amiga is not so technically amazing, it is just as playable and compulsive.

Robin Hogg I have always looked to Geoff Crammond to deliver the goods – who can forget Revs and the classic The Sentinel. Geoff has not been around the scene of late, but now he has really surprised us all with what must be one of the best racer games this year (looks like that is going to be a common phrase this year), and all this with next to no hype. The C64 game is obviously the most remarkable program with speed easily comparable to the Amiga game and a highly effective illusion of speed. I would have like more than one opponent to race against in the races to give it that much more of a race feeling. But as it stands Stunt Car Racer provides immense fun as you leap over obstacles, jump gaps and burn round corners with no thought for safety or margins of error – great stuff!

64

PRESENTATION 98%
Thick manual with good racing history and hints, plus an amazing amount f options (see review).
GRAPHICS 95%
Solid 3-D track graphics may not look amazing, but they move incredibly fast. The flaming engine and bouncing wheels are great too.
SOUND 85%
Effective engine revving stuff.
HOOKABILITY 94%
Very simple to get into...
LASTABILITY 95%
…but winning a race is tough, making winning the league a substantial challenge.

OVERALL
94%
The C64’s technical boundaries get pushed back even further by a brill new game.

AMIGA

PRESENTATION 98%
Same as the C64, plus simultaneous two-player mode if you have got a friend with an ST or Amiga and the right cables.
GRAPHICS 91%
Good, solid 3-D graphics move as fast as could be desired. Interlevel screens only okay.
SOUND 82%
Good engines roar, plus lots of nice touches like a useful creaking chasis crack. No tunes though.
HOOKABILITY 91%
Harder than the C64, but incredible playability still draws you in...
LASTABILITY 94%
…and the league keeps you playing.

OVERALL
92%
A highly original and very playable race game.