1000 Miglia Vol. 1: 1927-1933 (Simulmondo) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing


1000 Miglia Vol. 1: 1927-1933
By Simulmondo
Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #88

1000 Miglia Vol. 1: 1927-1933

It's a dream: Ian "Fangio" Osborne drives a thousand miles away!

Italy, 1926 - the Italian Federation of Racing introduces crippling restrictions on engine capacity, and most vehicle manufacturers pull out in disgust! Determined not to let the sport die, four enthusiasts launch the 1000 Mile Cup, or the 1,000 Miglia, a gruelling round trip from Brescia to Rome and back again! Initially a one-off, the 1927 opener was so popular it was held every year until the late 1950s!

1000 Miglia covers the early years of the race. In those days there was more to racing than sitting behind the wheel and putting your foot down. Your driver and co-driver must be chosen with care - as they do their own repairs, make sure one of them's a cool mechanic, and choose your spares carefully too. You can create your own crew or use the ones supplied, and there's even a save game option!

The race itself isn't as impressive as the strategic options. Minimalistic graphics allow a snazzy feeling of speed, though it makes the stages very samey in appearance and playability. Controls are nicely laid out, the joystick handling steering, acceleration and brakes. The fire button activates the best gear responses I've ever seen in a race game - move through the gears too fast and you're sunk! Release the joystick and you cruise at your current speed, slowing down only gradually. (Sigh - why can't all drivers be like this?)

The cars themselves handle like a dream - perhaps a little too well. It's difficult to reproduce vintage idiosyncrasies on a C64, but these oldies-but-goodies slide along like Formula 1 cars! The steering response makes it very hard to accelerate round corners which is a good thing, though car damage seems almost random. If anything goes wrong, you'd better pray you've got the right spare on board - the RAC weren't around in 1927!

The game's biggest failing is that at the end of each stage the screen goes blank and it multi-loads - and that's it! No indication of how long you took or how well you're doing, no opportunity to restock on spares, no nothing! Also, you do see other cars during the race but there's no indication of your overall position - very much against the clock.

1000 Miglia is a brave attempt at a seldom-tried angle, and not a bad game in its own right. Presentation is excellent. but it gets a little too samey too quickly to be a true classic. Worth a look though.

Ian Osborne