THE ROAD TO NOWHERE
4x4 starts off fine, but doesn't develop. You must choose one of the four courses and one of the four available jeeps (the 4x4 bit?). With your jeep awaiting, you must load up with various appliances (winches, extra fuel tanks etc). Prudent use of cash should help preserve your three lives.
Once fully packed, flip the tape over to load in the chosen course. All are uniformly bland and poorly drawn, with colour their only distinguishing feature. Your jeep is shown just beyond your instrument panel. Besides a speedometer and rev counter there's a damage indicator, gear shift and all-important timer. However, finishing ahead of the rest is as important as a good time.Just staying on the track is not enough, you must also dodge obstacles Buggy Boy-style. In places you have to slow down to a snail's pace to get past, but do this too often and you'll finish last. Maintaining a respectable speed all too often means damage and a quick stop for repairs. If you have the correct items a swift tinker under the bonnet soon sorts out the problem, if not then it's out with the sledgehammer for some very unreliable repairs.
The course seems to go on for ever. Dodging the same graphics over and over again soon becomes tedious, while the drone of the engine becomes irritating. Buggy Boy may have disappointed some people, but it's a million times more playable than this!
MARK … 40%
THE ESSENTIALS Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair Graphics: effective undulating road, but little variety Sound: limited mainly to simple engine noises Options: choice of four vehicles and courses
'Racing promises an interesting mix of arcade and strategy genres and ultimately falls to deliver in either field. The idea of equipping your jeep is a good one, but can hardly make up for the disappointment of the actual race. One big irritation is that damage has to become major before it can be repaired. So a flat tyre continues to slow you down to a snit's pace until it eventually bursts and can be replaced! Also, I can't say I noticed much difference in the performance of the four jeeps and they all have an identical top speed. 4x4 Off-Road Racing is a very disappointing Epyx simulation.'