Electron User

US Drag Racing
By Tynesoft

Published in Electron User 4.01

The scene is the Clifton Center, Arizona. Your dragster is ready on the track and so is that of your opponent Pete Piston. Out comes the track marshall who waves you forward. Your support team of mechanics gives you the required push and Pete's crew does the same for him. Then comes the instruction to start engines. You build up the revs, slip her into gear and you're off, hurtling down the track in hot pursuit of Pete.

Your aim is to beat Pete to the winning post one quarter of a mile down the track. Success will up your rating from novice to rookie and you can then try your skill against Tex Turbo. Beat him and you become a pro and face Clint Clutch, and then on to Sam Servo who is demonically fast. If you get past him, you're a faster driver than me.

Your accelerator pedal consists of the greater than and less than keys. These must be hit alternately as fast as you can. The Spacebar serves as the gear change and so far as I can discover you can only change up through the gears.

US Drag Racing

If you go into top gear too early, the car's lack of torque will mean a loss of acceleration and certain defeat. It all means that you need not only two really nifty fingers, but also a good sense of timing.

As is so often the case in this type of game, both cars stay still and together in the centre of the screen while the background, in this case white lines, scrolls past. The display gives no indication of who is winning, which means it is essential to read the distance indicators as well as your rev counter and speedometer.

It's a game that will keep your eyes and fingers busy. Sadly, winning a single race may not be enough. You take part in three races against each opponent and you only win if your fastest time is better than his. I developed a policy of really going for it in the first race and sauntering through the other two to give my fingers a rest.

The graphics are neat and tidy, as they should be with so little on-screen movement. My favourite feature is the parachute that slows you down at the end of the race. The sound gives you a good idea of the speed you're travelling, but is rather unimaginative.

My main concern is that this type of game is bad for keyboards. My Plus 1 joystick interface didn't work with it, so it is almost impossible to avoid hammering the poor keys. If you are prepared to risk it, US Drag Racing will get the adrenaline pumping as you desperately try to beat the opposition.

Rog Frost

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