Sinclair User27th August 1989
Published in Sinclair User #93
Stunt Car Racer
Looks pretty bad, doesn't it? Wire frame graphics have never been much of a winner on the Spec, especially when they're supposed to move with amazing speed etc.
Well you shouldn't be such a Mr Mopey, should you? Stunt Car racer is a whopper feast of motor excitement. You're a futuristic cross between Nigel Mansell and Mad Max, driving for kicks on the road to oblivion. Well, on a number of assorted circuits of oblivion in fact.
Yup. In the deserted nowhereland of tomorrow motorsport has turned decidedly mental. Hod rods have been cross-bred with tractors and formula one cars and the result is more like an armour-plated rocket on wheels than anything else.There's a wealth of options to investigate before you have to brave the rigours of a full blown race with, one of the computer controlled psychotic opponents. For a start you can take a leisurely (?) practise drive through the courses to get a feel of the curves, bumps and jumps. And if you're not barmy, you'll want to use every last second of practise time available perfecting your driving style.
Once you're in a race situation, it's goggles on and foot to the floor. A big crane lowers you - none too gently onto the track. If you're going to stand any chance in the race, you'd best hit the track with the wheels spinning. Like any decent motor, your car can be steered left and right. It's got no gears, but a stonking great turbo charger instead. Faster or faster still?
Chances are that your opponent, Road Hog, Bully Boy (ooer) or any of the other funnily named drivers will manage to edge ahead on the first straight. Now the game becomes a test of nerve.
Holding down the turbo button, you scream into the first corner and smash the front of the car on the camber. The hairline fracture along the top of your roll bar extends from left to right, indicating the amount of knocks your car has taken. If it gets all the way across, you've had it.
Gaining on the other guy, there's no sense trying to ease gently in front of him. Just stamp on the gas and barge him out of the way. The little flag at the bottom of the screen goes green to indicate you're in the lead just as you hit that little concealed bump and plunge off the track down to earth. That's the end of your race.
Unlike loads of race games, you can get yourself back on the track if you're lucky. A momentary lapse of concentration can leave you skidding along the edge of the elevated plat forms, but good luck and brave steering can sometimes save the day.
The wire frame graphics shift at a respectable pace, and though the step-size it sometimes a bit silly, there a definite feeling of high octane excitement.
Highly stylish mega road race.