Auto-Duel (Origin) Review | Computer & Video Games - Everygamegoing


By Origin Systems
Commodore 64

Published in Computer & Video Games #71


It is the year 2030 and law has broken down throughout the United States. Armed gangs patrol the main highways and any traditional means of communication between cities is impossible.

Pick-ups and deliveries are made by couriers driving highly specialised and heavily armed and armoured cars, all under the strict regulations of the American Autoduel Association.

You have arrived on the bus in New York with $2,000 in your pocket, enough to buy a suit of body armour but not a car.

You volunteer for amateur night in the Autoduel Arena, and of the five contestants only you come out alive.

After a few more nights of this you have enough for a car and you start taking courier missions. You may even get rich enough to afford a clone to take over for the day when another courier or a bandit finally gets you. It's a short life, but it's a living.

If you think this isn't a wargame, just try playing it! It has its origins in the Car Wars by boardgame Steve Jackson and its roots in the Mad Max films. A considerable amount of luck is required to survive at first, but a character can be saved to disk for a continued life and exploits.

The real problem comes in selecting your particular car - will you be a killer rabbit or a Kali turtle? - and the courier missions you will undertake. A real coward can just catch the bus to Atlantic City and try to get rich playing poker - but if you ask me the game is fixed!

Auto-Duel has created a varied, ingenious and entirely believable world in which it is possible to lose yourself for hours. If anyone wants me, I'll be in Joe's Bar in Pittsburgh and open to any reasonable offer.