Battlecars (Games Workshop) Review | Home Computing Weekly - Everygamegoing

Home Computing Weekly

By Games Workshop
Spectrum 48K

Published in Home Computing Weekly #103

Battlecars is a real conundrum. Set in a time in which road travel is so safe, people have resurrected dangerous racers with the added fun of missiles and guns. You have the chance to select or design your car with a host of features all to help you win against the computer or a friend. The process of setting up the game is explained none too clearly in the manual, and ambiguous on-screen prompts don't help much.

Once you have done so, you can select the setting in which you race, circuit, city or autodrome. This is where your problems start, as each is a separate block of code on tape, and no Microdrives to help! A crude and flickery display shows your progress round each of the courses if you can manage to make any. Though keys are assigned for play, there are six for steering and more to control the weapons; no provision is made for joysticks. A small card overlay is provided for keyboard control using twelve keys in all for each car. Even so it's not properly labelled, and won't fit the Spectrum + or add-on keyboards.

As a result of all this, it's hard to understand, hard to play, and not very rewarding to watch, hence the conundrum. If you are clever enough or old enough to understand how to make this work, then patient enough to practice the very complex controls, will the game be sufficiently satisfying once you get to play it?


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