Some cars, especially red ones, just sit there and beg "drive me" and the new, curvy Lotus Esprit Turbo is just such a motor. But if you take Gremlin's Challenge you won't drive one at all - you'll drive two.
Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge sets a thoroughbred car in a head-to-
The two human-
Winning isn't the most important thing - it's the only thing. You start the first meeting placed last on the grid and must work your way through the field to finish at least 10th to qualify for the next race. This is no mean feat when there are cars blocking good starts and mad geeks cutting you up at every turn.
On longer courses there's the challenge of negotiating fuel stops and maintaining your place in the face of ever stiff competition. Your position in the last race determines your starting place for the next. Win a race and you kick off from the back of the grid. As you compete for the Lotus licence the tracks get ever more tortuous with sharper bends, nasty road-
Damage is not a problem, but the ensuing loss of time is. If you tag a tree then your engine takes time to build the revs back up. The Lotus has legendary acceleration, but it's not fast enough to keep pace with those lucky people who manage to avoid the danger and stay on the road.
As the pressure to win builds, you have to try more outrageous passing manoeuvres and risk those time-
To help players get the most out of their red speeders there is the choice of either manual or automatic gears, as well as two different styles of joystick control and a mouse option.
Four levels of difficulty (though that's including practice) lend the game great variety, as does the number of totally insane race tracks. You'll never notice them, though, because the car's so swift everything becomes a blur. Even the background and sound effects are completely ignored by drivers whose attention is locked into a race, because you're too busy shouting obscenities at drone cars driven by nutters!
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
Lotus looks and sounds like the best straight racer ever to hit the strip. The cars are large but move with real speed. 160 mph actually looks like 160 mph, without any loss of control. The split-screen choice is inspired, allowing two drivers to go head-to-
Sonically the game's no slouch either, offering a choice of in-game music - on the Lotus CD system, naturally. Best of all is the squeal of tyres as you push traction to the limit.
Most racing games fall down heavily here. Blasting round a track ain't fun for everyone and the novelty wears thin after you've seen the same circuit 58 times. Lotus has three levels of actual racing and with each degree of difficulty new tracks are added - easy has seven raceways, medium ten and tough fifteen. To win the entire game you have to score the most points over the fifteen-
Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge is the best racing game yet. In a world filled with Out Runs and Chase HQs it takes pole position without a doubt. The car itself, in real life, is in a class of its own and the game captures that hand-