Mean Machines

Days Of Thunder
By Mindscape International Inc
Nintendo (US Version)

Published in Mean Machines #8

Days Of Thunder

What happened in Days Of Thunder? Well, Tom Cruise turned up with his chopper, took a spin around Daytona track, crashed, snogged Nicole Kidman and finally climbed back into his car and won the race.

Now the game of the film has reached the Nintendo, bringing with it all the thrills, spills and downright speed of Cruise's adventures. Or at least that's the idea.

With an intro showing our hero's arrival at the race course, the action then switches to a qualifying round where the racer has the chance to learn the circuit and establish his or her position on the starting grid.

Days Of Thunder

NASCAR racing (the type in the game) differs from normal stock car racing because the track curves upwards at the corners. Centrifugal force obviously plays a major part, and it's a good idea not to go flying off the side of the bend as the car takes the corner.

The buttons control the accelerator and brakes, but otherwise the player simply steers the car around the corners and overtakes the other vehicles.

Cruise Missiles (And Bombs)

Apart from Days Of Thunder, our lad Tom has been in many films. Top Gun has been his biggest success so far, while Born on the Fourth of July won his major critical acclaim hot on the feels of Rain Man. However he's been in more frivolous films too; Ricky Business was a teen sex comedy that was a big hit in America. Cocktail was a rather bland Cruise vehicle, while The Color Of Money cast him opposite Paul Newman in the sequel to The Hustler.

Days Of Thunder

Days Of Thunder did not do well at the box office, or with the critics, who called it "Top Gun on wheels", basically because it has the same plot as his previous blockbuster.

Track Marks

It's always wise to get used to the course before the race proper, and the free practice provides the opportunity for this. Learn how to take the corners and accelerate through the straights. Once he feels he has mastered this, the drive moves on to the race where the previously empty track is now littered with other cars that have an annoying habit of drifting into the way!

So things get a lot more tricky from that point on, and only the best NASCAR driver stands a chance of victory!


Days Of Thunder

Although the Days Of Thunder film was utter rubbish, I thought that the fast, car-crashing action could be turned into a really good Nintendo game. Unfortunately it wasn't to be, and what we've got instead is one of the dullest racing games I've seen on a console.

Not only is the speed of the action slow, the tracks are the most boring you're ever likely to race around - they're oval and only have left turns. There are no crashes during the game, and all the cars seem to move at the same speed - so there's no whizzing around overtaking people.

The end result is a horribly tedious game that gets terminally boring after you've given it just a few goes. If you're after a decent racing game, forget this and instead check out the vastly superior Turbo Racing, which scored 80% when it was reviewed last month.


Days Of Thunder

What a dire excuse for entertainment! This really stinks... and is about as playable as something that's not playable at all. The speedo reads 150mph, but the car feels like its' being pushed by a couple of arthritic OAPs. With no gears to change, an incredibly simplistic course and no crowd, Days Of Thunder has all the tense atmosphere of an episode of Eastenders.

The only thing I liked about the game was the introductory sequence, but that's hardly enough to make it worth the asking price. I don't know what Mindscape were playing at when they decided to release this, but if you want to play something good then avoid this like the plague.


Presentation 80%
Cruise rides up to the track on his bike in a great intro sequence.

Days Of Thunder

Graphics 77%
The 3D routine is impressive, but the car sprites are weedy and monotone.

Sound 60%
Fairly average music, but the effects are pretty dreadful.

Playability 42%
There is no feeling of acceleration or excitement to be found anywhere in this game!

Lastability 20%
The lack of action, excitement and variety means even the biggest race game fan will become bored very quickly.

Overall 19%
An awful game that falls down on all counts. If you want high speed thrills and spills, steer clear of this and get Turbo Racing.