Amstrad Computer User

Wec Le Mans
By Imagine
Amstrad CPC464/664/6128

Published in Amstrad Computer User #53

Wec Le Mans

Back when hydraulics were just wee sprogs and arcade games that featured them were heralded as Gods of the neon palaces, there was a game that set out to break the mould, and did so successfully. This game was not original in concept, but definitely a first in cabinet design. This game was WEC Le Mans.

Although driving games are not a new concept by any stretch of the imagination, and WEC Le Mans makes no pretences in being especially original, the game proves exactly what an Amstrad CPC is capable of. The arcade version is engineered around the infamous 24 hour race held in France every year, and so is the conversion (which is pretty is pretty obvious!) and it allows you to experience exactly what hundreds of drivers go through on the worst day of their lives. The car involved is undoubtedly a Porsche, so you know it's going to be high-performance stuff.

The graphics are surprisingly almost mono (almost mono, because many of the colours are shades of green!) but they are so well detailed that this is not a burden. The gameplay is very simple, get past each checkpoint on the course in the time designated and therefore complete a number of laps. This is done through weaving your car in and out of others, and careening around hazards and corners (simple, huh?) with simple joystick controls. Left on the joystick turns the steering wheel in that direction as does the right direction, and the Fire button changes the gear.

The major thing that WEC has going for it is the fact that it is so darn enjoyable, the playability has been judged just right and the speed is set at a hectic level. Another note worth mentioning is the wonderful crash sequence when the car spins through a series of sprites which makes you wince every time it happens.

Ocean has produced another winner that I'm sure will dominate the charts for many weeks (like Operation Wolf and Robocop) and it is an essential buy for anybody that was fooled by OutRun.