Amstrad Action


Grand Prix Simulator

Author: Bob Wade
Publisher: Codemasters
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

 
Published in Amstrad Action #21

Grand Prix Simulator

Philip and Andrew Oliver are rapidly making a reputation for themselves through their games for Code Masters - a good one. Grand Prix Simulator isn't another perspective racing game, but one where you have an overhead view of the action.

Each of 14 different tracks fits into just one screen. You have to complete three laps of the track faster than a computer-controlled car. You can then move on to the next track, where the computer car will have got faster and the course harder.

The tracks are very attractively drawn, with lots of interesting features. Most of the tracks have bridges where the road crosses itself, so that when driving underneath you can't see what's happening. There's also an oil patch which causes wild skidding. Many corners have barriers that actually help you stay on the track, but going off the tarmac will lose you a lot of time.

Grand Prix Simulator

The cars are just little boxes which are sensitive to the controls. They power-slide beautifully around corners but can often end up headbutting a wall if you stray off line. You've got to follow the correct course - no cross-country short cuts allowed. The computer opponent can balk you and make the task difficult. This is a little unfair when it doesn't seem to trouble him at all.

It's a frustratingly addictive game where races can be over very fast. You always come back for more and, although it's hard to believe at first, you do get the hang of the controls and gradually learn how to master the tracks. It's also got a two-player option where both players have to beat the computer car to qualify.

Second Opinion

Fun but so frustrating! Especially when playing with two players. Even more so when your opponent happens to be Sir Bob. Realistic skids, marvelous graphics and speech. All for £2. Excuse me while I try to beat that Wade chappie...

Green Screen View

Grand Prix Simulator

Even the oil patches show in green.

First Day Target Score

2,500.

Verdict

Graphics 74%
P. Detailed, colourful courses.
N. Cars are just squares.

Grand Prix Simulator

Sonics 63%
P. Speech synthesis and some music.
N. The speech is indistinct.

Grab Factor 76%
P. Sensitive response to controls is great to use.
P. It's addictive; you always want one more go.

Staying Power 73%
P. 14 tracks is plenty, and tough too.
N. A long hard drive can be ruined by one mistake - back to track one.

Overall 78%
P. Reminiscent of Street Machine and just as enjoyable.

Bob Wade

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