Commodore User1st September 1986
Published in Commodore User #36
Hot Wheels, in case you haven't heard of them, are toy cars. As I recall from my nappy-clad days, they used to run on a bright yellow track that could be bent into loops, chicanes and other exciting shapes. Hot Wheels used to go like greased lightning on account of these shiny blast plastic wheels they had.
Epyx got the nod from Mattel to produce computer Hot Wheels a while ago and they're pushing it again. No more wearing out the knees of your trousers crawling round the living room floor, making yourself hoarse screaming vroom at the top of your voice and breaking your old man's neck with a strategically placed car on the thirteenth stair.
Before I go any further though, I should first of all say that Hot Wheels is not going to appeal to anyone over the age of seven, it's like Trumpton with hot rods.
First of all, you must select a car. If you don't fancy one of the ready-to-war jobs from the showroom, you can custom-build your own in the factory. This, as it happens is quite good fun. You must select a front, a middle and a rear end from the appropriate workshops.
The parts can be wound past on a cable running the length of the factory ceiling. When you've found the bit you like, just position the steering wheel cursor over it, press Fire and move it over the chassis. When the complete car is assembled, your crank it through to the paintshop on the track to give it a coat of your favourite colour gloss.
Getting the car on the road was the only part I really enjoyed. After that, things got a bit mundane. Basically it's just a case of driving round town playing at being grown ups. You can go to the car wash, park in the multi-storey, fill up with gas (yes, it's American), change the oil, or have a tune up.
There are a couple of minor diversions. You can enter the demolition derby which is utterly feeble. Three blue blobs, and your own red one bash into each other for five minutes. That's it.
You can take the fire engine out for a spin. Conveniently enough, a fire never actually starts until you are in the tender and heading for it. You must douse the blazing homestead by firing jets of water at the windows.
Lastly, you can speed around town on the expressway. Your car travels the expressway in automatic. In other words, there's nothing to do but sit back and watch - thrilling. Like I said, a good buy if you're looking for something for children who want to drive around town just like mum and dad.