Yet another car racing game, but hey it's got a comedy title and it's one of the most playable and addictive little numbers I've ever laid my hands on. I don't know about you, but I absolutely lurve racing games. They bring out my competitive human spirit which is a bit of a dangerous thing to do. I unfortunately turn into a dribbling psychopath who will take on everyone in the whole world and try and beat them into submission.
The only slight problem is that if I lose I get these really bad feelings of intense hate and have to go and lie down in a darkened room until I'm calm once more. Call it bad sportsmanship, but I can't help myself.
This always happens when I'm playing a racer. Why? I don't know, but my psychiatrist told me to keep taking the pills and stay well away from them. Then out of the blue, Skidmarks happened (oh dear).
My whole attitude changed literally overnight and it's all thanks to those wonderful people at Acid Software who have created the cure to my problem. If I win I'm happy, but now if I lose I'm still happy and it's all because Skidmarks is so much fun, I can forget about my loss instantly because no sooner have I finished one game then I've started the next race-up.
There is one snog in all this, and that is that I'm completely addicted to it now and I'm having real trouble trying to turn my computer off. You're damn lucky that you've got this review to read, and it's only because I left Skidmarks at home and wasn't able to play it in the office.
Skidmarks, if you haven't guessed from the screenshots on the page, is a four-way scrolling isometric race-'em-up from hell. To come up with new ideas for a racer must be incredibly difficult, but Acid software have created a little beaut of a game that really does shine against its competitors. Overdrive by Team 17 is perhaps the only rival that comes close to being as good as Skidmarks.
The idea behind the game isn't that original and neither is it that interesting, but by golly it works. The objective is to race around 12 tracks against three other competitors (either human or computer-
You receive points for the position you finish in - the higher the position the higher the points and the racer with the most points after completing the 12 tracks is the champion. Before you start, you must select your car from four. You must decide between a Porsche, Camaro, Monster Truck or Dirt Buggy and which particular shade of paint you want your motor in. I can heartily recommend the jade or the light purple!
The number of different cars you can have will depend on the amount of memory in your computer and whether you are using the enhanced AGA cars. The AGA cars are slightly more detailed than the bog-standard ones - as an example, the AGA cars have numbers on them. Not that useful I know, but often it's these little touches that turn good piece of software into a excellent one.
Another nice touch while we're on the subject is that when the cars go around the track they leave skidmarks behind them, and the track eventually becomes chewed up.
There are three modes of play in Skidmarks: Practice, Match race and Championship. Practice lets the individual palyer race the tracks without any competitions. Match race is for competing in one-off races on any track, while championship lets the player or players participate in a six-track series competing for points.
As with most racing games, it's more satisfying competing against a friend rather than your computer and Skidmarks is no different. By linking up two Amigas with a stanard null modem cable you can have a four-player race!
The two-player option is a bit restrictive though because the screen halves and unfortunately you see less track, but plenty of practice will put that right.
One of the best features of Skidmarks which I've failed to point out until now is the standard of the graphics. To say that they are excellent is quite an understatement. There are 800 frames of animation for each car, all of which have been lovingly ray-traced. The tracks are just as good and are well-designed and no matter how long you play it for don't get tedious.
The graphics and sound are amazing, but what really makes Skidmarks stand out from the rest is the fact that it is so playable. With the playability being so good this in-turn makes it one of the most addictive little racers you can buy.
With more track disks on the way from Acid Software you're almost guaranteed you'll never get bored. I could go on for hours praising this game, but I really only need to say two words. Buy it.