Amstrad Computer User

Test Drive 2: The Duel

Published in Amstrad Computer User #60

Two kings of the road go head to head over some of the world's deadliest terrain. We preview the next blockbuster from Mastertronic.

Test Drive 2: The Duel

It's mayhem on the streets as the big boys go for it. Ferrari and Porsche are locked in a head-to-head duel across burning desert highways and treacherous mountain tracks. Only the brave and the foolish enter, most do not survive; but those that do can hold their heads up high as they queue up to pay their speeding fines.

At the start of the game you get to choose between the Ferrari and the Porsche 959 before selecting your method of control.

Each car has its own authentic dashboard display. If you are playing in 'one player' mode then you must decide whether to race against the other car or the timer. Once the options have been selected it's dodge the cacti time as you race off across the deserts of America on heat-tortured roads.

Test Drive 2 The Duel

Unlike normal racing games, you have to contend with traffic coming in the opposite direction. It is all right to cut the odd corner but if someone is coming the other way you either perform some remarkable evasion manoeuvres or you crash head-on, losing one of your lives. Once you have lost all five lives then the game is over but each time, you refuel you get an extra one. On the first four of the difficulty levels, the gear change is automatic but when the going gets tough on manual transmission watch those revs or the engine will blow taking with it your chance of victory.

As you weave across the landscape, a sure way of telling where your non-moving steering wheel is pointing is to look at the dot. This dot moves around the wheel as you steer to indicate the top of the wheel. Inside the steering wheel are two indicators, one for the revs and the all-important speedometer. Across the top of the screen a number of illuminated pixels can be seen, these aren't a bug, they are the relative positions of your car, the opponent and any police cars giving chase.

Your built in radar detector should alert you to the presence of any speed traps you pass through. Further information on your surroundings can be gained by looking in the rear view mirror. The mirror constantly displays the road behind you and any vehicles that may be there.

Test Drive 2 The Duel

At the end of the desert road you will encounter a gas station. Stopping here is essential if you wish to continue. To fill up simply stop between the two white lines. At the end of each level you will find a gas station.

Next come the winding mountain roads. On one side you have the cliff face and on the other you have a short trip to oblivion. The twists and turns on this track make it deadly and the only time you need not worry about dropping off the edge is when you are in a tunnel and the final straight where it is a mad dash for gas and victory.

The third level you find yourself on the grassy plains where further challenges await. At the end of each level you receive a breakdown of your performance. This shows your average speed and time taken, it also shows your opponent's average speed and time taken.

With twelve levels of difficulty there is little chance of you beating this game first time around. The game is the racing challenge of the millennium without the need to spend your next six year's wages buying the cars or three years in jug for non-payment of speeding fines.

No scenery discs are planned for the CPC version of the game. If the screenshots look a little odd fear not, this is an early pre-production version and as yet there is a lot of touching up to do.

Adrian Pumphrey