Amstrad Computer User1st November 1990
Published in Amstrad Computer User #72
Go for the chequered flag in the ultimate performance car test.
Grand Prix Circuit
It's hot, awful hot in the flameproof overalls. Keeping your helmet off until the last moment to savour as much fresh air as you can, you catch the signal from the egineer; start her up.
Pulling yourself firmly into the cockpit of your sleek Honda 1.5 V6 Turbo McLaren, you feel the throb of raw power erupt into life as the switch is thrown on over 900 horsepower of engine. This is your chance to prove your mettle against some of the biggest names on the Grand Prix Circuit.
So the Ferrari tipped you to pole position in the qualifying lap, but you're not too concerned about that. You know this Silverstone track like the back of your hand and, with the home crowd urging you on, you know this race is here for the taking.
The red light flashes once, twice and then it's green all the way and the chase is on.
If you're into fast moving racing simulators, this is one beauty you won't want to miss. It's jam-packed with options and before you know it, you'll be totally wrapped up with the Grand Prix scene, cursing the regular favourites on the track and ruing the fact that you've got to make pit stops just when you've managed to pinch the lead, yes, it's just like the real thing.
Starting off at the beginning of a new season, you get the chance to do a few practice spins in your authentic Formula One car. You decide which team you want to race for, so you can join Mansell in his last season at Ferrari if you like, or plump for the sleek Williams outfit.
All of the circuits are taken from real life, so take it easy on the twists and turns of the streets of Monaco, and blast out on the fast straights of the German Nurbergring.
Moving on to Japan, you'll get a taste of driving in the dark through the tunnels in one of the toughest challenges to date.
Throughout the championship, you'll be competing against world class drivers, each with their own distinctive styles, so study them well and decide when and where to make your moves.Inside the cockpit, the forward view of the track is exhilarating, but keep your eye on the special insets at the same time, to show you your location, lap number, current position and race time. Your rear view mirrors will also keep you in touch with the action behind you.
During each race, you need to decide just when you're going to make that all-important pit stop. Time it to perfection because seconds can mean the difference between first place and nine points, or a lowly fifth place.
If you think you can tame the awesome power of these sleek machines, then take your place with the best of the rest and compete for the prize - the title of World Driving Champion.
Some of the scenery in this excellent simulator are breathtaking, although you'll need to work hard to control the cars at first to make the most of the smooth scrolling. Keep your ears open for the roar of the engines and take care to time your gear changes to perfection, it could make all the difference.
Although Grand Prix Circuit is only scheduled for disc and cassette release as yet, the new sound and graphics capabilities of the cartridge system of the new CPC machines, make this game an excellent candidate for the works, and let's hope we see it there soon.
In the meantime, get to know the feel of the car you've chosen, blast it for all it's worth around the practice track with uninhibited speed and try and survive until the end of the season. If you can do that and get yourself up in the rankings first time round, you're not doing badly.
As you come to know your competitors, you won't want to give up on a first attempt though. The next time round, and the time after that, it becomes a grudge match as you try to topple the stars from their pinnacles.
After all, it's got to be worth it when you finally see yourself at the top of that table with the victory laurels around your shoulders, the chequered flag draped across your racing machine and the good old magnum of bubbly in your hands. Just mind you don't drink it all at once.