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DIGITAL MAGIC £24.95 * Joystick or Mouse

Hurtling around race circuits in a high-powered racing car is all very well, but haven't you ever fancied trying your hand at one of those huge American trucks? You now have the chance.

There are trucks, Formula One racing cars, ordinary sports cars, buggies and motorbikes to race around in this one-player game. Which vehicle you race depends on which of the four competitions you enter. For example, in the league game you race in a ll the five vehicle, one after the other, over increasingly difficult courses (each vehicle has five different courses). If you start in the trucks, your race then move onto buggies on another course - get the idea?

The knockout competition is similar in that you race in all the vehicles, but the tracks are in a random order; so you could race in the buggies over a difficult course, then cars over an easier one. To continue racing in the knockout competition you have to finish each race in the top three. Then there are mini versions of knockout and league: you choose the vehicle you want to drive or ride, but in the knockout you race that vehicle's courses in order of difficulty whereas in the league you race in a random order.

Like most racing games, it's best not to crash into roadside obstacles or the other road users. Actually, you simply bounce off of them, but it does lose you valuable time and more often than not a couple of places too. Far more serious, simply because it takes longer, is when you fall off of a section of the circuit that's suspended above the ground and have to wait until you're repositioned on the track before you set off again.


Boy, do those graphics shift! This is arguably the fastest race game to have appeared to date. The impression of speed is great, and the way it's done is by using a roadway system similar to that used in games like Power Drift: a roadway made up of log shapes that grow in size as you move towards them. This does tend to give everything a blocky appearance, especially roadside buildings and trees. The sound can be switched between a number of jaunty tunes, which are all right, or sound effects (engine noises) which are also fine.


With 25 tracks to race round you're bound to get wrist-ache. The different vehicles are different to drive and handle differently, but not vastly so. A good one to boot up whenever you feel like a race.


The game's biggest let-down is the completely unreal feel to your vehicle as you drive around. It swings from one side of the road to the other and through corners most unrealistically; but then it's arguably not a sim. This does take something away from the gameplay, turning what could have been an excellent driving game into one that's just good.

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Wrrrooom, ein Auto-Sprite düst mit annähernd Schallgeschwindigkeit über den Screen! Was ist passiert, haben wir uns etwa in der Seite geirrt und besprechen einen Arcade-Automaten? Keineswegs: Die Amigaversion des neuem Rennspiels von "Digital Magic Software" braucht in Sachen Speed den Vergleich mit Profi-Geräten nicht zu scheuen!

Zu Beginn des Jahres fielen Umsetzungen von Rennspiel-Automaten zwar wie die Heuschrecken über den Amiga her, aber in Punkto Geschwindigkeit zuckeltensie alle hinter ihren großen Brüdern aus der Spielhalle her. Ob nur "Hard Drivin'","Chase H.Q.", "Turbo Out Run" oder "Powerdrift" - was den Gamespeed betrifft, sehen sie "Drivin' Force" bestenfalls von hinten!

Das soll nun aber (leider!) keineswegs bedeuten, daß den Jungs aus England die perfekte Bildschirm-Raserei gelungen ist, der Verzug, blitzschnell zu sein, muß durch allerlei Abstriche andernorts erkauft werden...

Nach dem obligatorischen Loadingscreen (ein Helm und Handschuhe - wie einig!) findet man sich in einem kompakten Menü wider, in dem auf kleinstem Raum eine Vielzahl von Vorentscheidungen getroffen werden kann.

Sechs verschiedene Fahrzeuge (vom Buggy über einen Truck oder ein Motorrad bis zum "Out Run"-ähnlichen Flitzer samt Freundin) stehen zur Wahl, um über die sage und schreibe 30 (!) unterschiedlichen Strecken zu hetzen.

Weiter darf zwischen Knockout- und Ligamodus gewählt, ein Demo bewundert, eine Übungsrunde gedreht, auf Maus oder Joystick geschaltet, sowie eine Nationalität samt Fahrer ausgesucht werden. Ist das alles geschafft, geht's ins eigentliche Rennen, wo auf fünf verschiedenen Fahrbahnen (Sand, Schnee, etc.) gegen die unerbittliche Zeit und acht Gegner aus ebensovielen Ländern gefahren wird.

Obwohl das Game dank der Wahnsinnsgeschwindigkeit und der Vielfalt von Fahrzeugen und Strecken durchaus Spaß macht, werden in der Spielpraxis schon bald die Schwächen deutlich: Die Grafik ist erg grob und blockig, und die Ubersensible Steuerung macht dem Bildschirm-Piloten das Leben oft ganz schön schwer.

Hinzu kommt, daß man nach einiger Zeit zusätzliche Features wie Schaltgetriebe oder Turbo-Booster schmerzlich vermißt. Aber ein tolles Bonusrennen, die sehr unterschiedlich Strekkenführung und vor allem der ausgezeichnete Soundtrack entschädigen für vieles!

Unterm Strich bleibt ein überdurchschnittliches Rennspiel, in dem eine ganze Menge guter Ideen verwirklicht wurden. Drivin' Force kann sich durchaus mit den großen Namen der Konkurrenz messen und ist ein ganz heißer. Tip für geschwindigkeitssüchtige Auto-Freaks! (mm)

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What with Dunc making Brrm Brrrm noises in the office doing the driving feature, Paul Lakin was beginning to feel a bit left out. To cheer him up we gave him a tin of Castrol GTX and a copy of Drivin' Force.

Driving games come, driving games go but driving games undoubtedly sell. Digital Magic Software's long awaited addition to a lucrative market comes with not only a variety of tracks but also vehicles. As well as the usual motorbikes, racing cars and Porsche-type-things-with-blondes there are slightly more eccentric vehicles like large lorries.

In the league you race on all the tracks in random order until your consistant seventh place in the table begins to depress you. The knock-out compo lets you work through the tracks in order of difficulty but kicks you out on your butt if you ever fail to finish in the first three. Right so you've chosen your vehicle and the first track's loaded. Now strap on your Yorkie bar and let's go.

Amiga reviewPaul: Imagine the scene in a software company as they grapple with ideas for their latest game. "Ooh let's do a game about going over the Niagra in a barrel." "No I've got a better idea let's do a game about a team of three-toed sloths racing up Mount Everest on pogo sticks." "Ah stuff it, let's do another driving game."

It must be as difficult thinking of new things to do with driving games as it is to think of new things to write about them. Digital Magic Software have come up with a couple of sharp ideas for the former, I'm still struggling with the latter so that's one up to them.

At first glance Drivin' Force doesn't look all that new. Just another Power Drift, I thought nothing new here. Actually Drivin' Force is a fair bit faster than Power Drift and quite a bit different. Unfortunately the similarity is in the look of the track. I'm not a fan of these games where you appear to be driving over a line of logs.

They're not exactly detailed and are inclined to go a bit peculiar at crucial moments. On really tight corners you're faced with a blur of colours in the midst of which there should be a road. Some of the opposition also look more like screen blips than serious rivals.

What makes Drivin' Force a little bit different is that rather than offer you a choice of drivers, like some games, it offers you a choice of vehicles. It's quite an impressive choice too. Lorries, beach buggies and the like are all well drawn, colourful and detailed. My only complaint is why, oh why, is it only the flash sports car drivers who ever have a partner in these games? Do girls only make passes at boys in Ferraris?

The sprites not only look good they all handle slightly differently. The buggies bounced along and held on tight, the motorbikes were mean and fast but were unable to resist the temptation to hurl themselves off the nearest tight corner. Different driving conditions are also reflected in the performance of the vehicles (i.e. at the first hint of any ice my car started spinning towards the nearest obstacle.) The different courses are certainly challenging though perhaps the learning curve is a bit steep. Somewhere around race 3 or 4 the track suddenly goes from pretty tricky to well nigh impossible.

The problem is that although the sprites look good and play reasonably well, the animation is far from flawless. It fails to give the impression that the car is moving over the road, instead the road seems to be moving under the car. Quite often, particularly with the motorbike, all the vehicle seemed to do was lean from side to side a bit.

Crashing in this game is quite an experience. Instead of booms, crashes and lots of smoke the car bounces back off obstacles. This can be a problem if your limited turning circle gets you into a vicious circle of bouncing back, going forward and bouncing back off the same obstacle. Sometimes it helps to blow up.

Drivin' Force is a pretty good racing game which somehow fails short of being brilliant. It should hold its own in a crowded market but it's not going to set the world on fire.