The Great American Cross-Country Road Race (Activision) Review | Computer Gamer - Everygamegoing

Computer Gamer

The Great American Cross-Country Road Race
By Activision
Commodore 64/128

Published in Computer Gamer #6

The Great American Cross-Country Road Race

After Activision's recent rash of sport simulations with their complex rules, it as quite refreshing to find a straightforward car racing simulator.

In typical Activision style, the instructions are made to look long and complex because of the multilingual spreadsheet that they always insist on producing. For such expensive software I would expect better packaging than this. Why is it that their packages are always the ones which refuse to close and keep dropping their instructions all over my floor?

The game itself is fairly unexciting. At the beginning, you choose which of the four routes you would like to try: Los Angeles to New York, Seattle to Miami, San Francisco to Washington or the US Tour which takes in every city on the map. For each route there is a top ten board which can be updated as your times gradually improve and the game also allows you to save the new table entries to tape for future use.

Then, with a press of the fire button, you get a 3D view of the road and see a variety of vehicles overtaking you on either side. Steering your car along the road is easy compared to similar programs on the market but sharp zig-zagging makes the tyres squeal under the pressure and results in a loss of speed.

At this point the idea is to go from city to city within a given time limit without blowing up your engine, running out of petrol, or falling foul of the Law. You can blow your engine by over-revving the engine without changing gear. Petrol can be obtained every 100 miles simply by pulling in on the relevant side of the road. If however you transgress and either of these problems strike then all is not lost but you will have to push the car to the nearest petrol station. A brush with the Law merely slows you down unless you can outrun them.

The saving grace of ths game is that, during the race night and day follow their normal cycle and half way through a stage you can see dusk fall into night. The weather also changes between sunny, rainy and snowy conditions, each bringing its own particular kind of problems.