Super Monaco Grand Prix (Kixx) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing


Super Monaco Grand Prix
By Kixx
Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #88

Super Monaco GP

With Nigel Mansell almost certain to be the first British World Racing Champion since the last one (James Hunt in 1976), we computer bods'll soon be unable to move for drivers (a bit like motoring through London in the rush hour). First off the starting grid is Super Monaco GP, a conversion of Sega's arcade sit-in jobbie - but will it take the chequered flag?

On loading you're offered the choice of three cars - an automatic, a four-geared racer and a super-duper top-of-the-range model with seven gears, an in-car stereo and wall-to-wall carpeting. Nice presentation, but the blimmin' thing's *wrong*! According to the graphic, the fire button accelerates when it actually changes gear - the *joystick* controls acceleration and breaking. Well done folks!

Driving games don't really lend themselves to intricate plots, and this one's no exception - just blast your way round a series of circuits, the practice lap giving your grid position. Finish too far back in the actual race and it's Gameoversville. Thankfully you aren't forced to reload the option screen, you just stick with the car you chose in the first place.

A half-hearted attempt at a first-person perspective racer, it plays more like a viewed-from-behind offering. The main sprite doesn't dominate enough of the lower screen to give the illusion of sitting behind the wheel, and the viewpoint's far too high - since when were F1 drivers 15 feet tall?

If this wasn't bad enough, the graphics are terrible! A boring, featureless track cuts its way through a boring, featureless backdrop which in turn meets a boring, featureless skyline halfway up the screen. You do get a feeling of speed, but with such drab surroundings you'll just be getting nowhere quickly. Your car's pretty boring too, but at least it's well animated - you'll love the way the steering wheel turns on corners!

Options are limited to choosing your controls at the start of the game, and that's it! You can't choose the next track or number of laps per race, and the gear controls are the only difference in the cars - if you expect to win some dosh and upgrade the thing, forget it!

Weather conditions are random and make very little difference to the game anyway, and pit stops aren't catered for at all! The car accelerates like a Skoda, taking ages to reach top whack, but this doesn't really make it difficult - it's almost impossible to leave the track! Just hold the white line until you reach the bend then steer - it's so forgiving even Phil could manage it!

If you're mad keen on driving games you might find something to your liking here, but I doubt it. Smooth scrolling and a sensible multi-load don't compensate for lousy graphics, non-existent options and gameplay so easy you'll crash through sheer boredom. Save your dosh, this game's the pits!

Phil King