Tag Archives: racing games

Atari A to Z: Death Race

Sadly, this game is nothing to do with the movie of the same name. Instead, it’s Atlantis Software’s budget-price attempt to recreate the experience of Sega’s early arcade game Turbo, albeit a few years late.

The latter years of the Atari 8-bit saw a lot of publishers specialising in budget-price, cassette-only releases for around the £2 mark. This put them firmly in “pocket money” territory for a lot of young gamers, but the quality did vary quite a bit, with Atlantis Software’s titles generally not being received all that well by the press of the day.

How does Death Race stack up in the grand scheme of things? Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari ST A to Z: Test Drive

As a kid, I was always fascinated by games that attempted to simulate experiences like you were “really there” — even if they were fairly mundane.

As such, I found myself drawn to the Test Drive series by Accolade, which promised a realistic (for the time) driving experience in a variety of luxury cars. I only played Test Drive II: The Duel back in the day, so I thought it’d be interesting to go back to where this long-running series began.

Check out my experiences in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

short;Play: Test Drive Unlimited

I latched on to the Test Drive series pretty early in my life, because it allowed child-Pete the opportunity to pretend that he was driving a real car. This is something that child-Pete was very excited about.

The series has experimented with a variety of different structures and formats over the years, but it finally became what child-Pete (and adult-Pete) always wanted it to be with the advent of 2006’s Test Drive Unlimited, released for PlayStation 2, Xbox 360 and PSP.

Check out the Xbox 360 version in action in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Inertial Drift Sunset Prologue: A Bold New Take on Arcade Racing

I love me a slippery-slidy, drift-centric arcade racer, as you’ll know very well if you followed the extensive Ridge Racer Cover Game feature from a while back, or indeed were kind enough to watch my playthrough of Split/Second Velocity on YouTube.

As such, I was immediately interested when PQube announced its upcoming racer Inertial Drift, developed by an outfit known as Level 91 Entertainment. This game promised a ’90s style aesthetic, exaggerated arcadey racing action… and what sounded like a rather unusual control scheme.

How exactly does a twin-stick racing game work anyway? I fired up the Inertial Drift Sunset Prologue interactive demo to find out.

Continue reading Inertial Drift Sunset Prologue: A Bold New Take on Arcade Racing

Atari ST A to Z: Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge

There are some games that, when they release, you just know they’re going to be all-time greats, forever regarded as classics.

Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge from Gremlin Graphics was definitely one of those games. It pushed the “vanishing point” racer formula massively with its split-screen two-player action and its variety of interesting courses, and its presentation and gameplay were immaculate.

It would go on to form the basis of the widely beloved Top Gear for Super NES, which would go on to inspire more recent works such as Horizon Chase Turbo. And it still plays like a dream today. So please put your hands together and give it up for a true racing legend.

Atari A to Z

Horizon Chase Turbo: Top Gear Returns

Many people assumed that the advent of the true 3D polygonal racer spelled the death of the traditional, “vanishing point” racer.

After all, why would you ever want to play a technologically limited game where you simply slide from side to side on a track without actually turning when you can spin your car around, go the wrong way and attempt to cause as many head-on collisions as possible? Or race in “true 3D” too, I suppose.

Well… you know… because it’s fun. And thankfully a number of developers in recent years have remembered that. And so we’ve ended up with loving homages to the past such as the Kickstarter-funded Slipstreamand the subject of today’s article: Horizon Chase Turbo. Let’s take a look.

Continue reading Horizon Chase Turbo: Top Gear Returns

Atari A to Z: Rally Speedway

Today’s game is a well-regarded top-down racer from back in the day: it’s John Anderson’s Rally Speedway.

Rally Speedway became well-known for its high-speed, smooth scrolling gameplay — and perhaps more significantly, for its strong amount of customisation. Not only could you tweak the game’s performance and difficulty to your liking, you could even make your own tracks for you and your friends to take on.

How well does it hold up next to more modern attempts to do something similar, though? Let’s find out!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

The MoeGamer 2019 Awards: The Vanishing Point Award

The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards I’ve devised in collaboration with the community to celebrate the sorts of things that never get celebrated in end-of-year roundups! Find out more here — and feel free to leave a suggestion on that post if you have any good ideas!

I love a good “vanishing point” racer, as is doubtless evidenced by our podcast episode on this very subject. But have any in particular caught my attention this year?

For the uninitiated, a vanishing point racer is an arcade-style driving game that, rather than unfolding in true 3D, makes use of graphical trickery involving converging lines to simulate driving “into” the screen. As a result, in a vanishing point racer, you tend to move from side to side rather than actually turning, and the emphasis is on skilfully avoiding obstacles rather than handling your car in a realistic manner.

For this award, I’m deliberately celebrating a less obvious choice, despite having covered the excellent Switch version of OutRun earlier this year. Not that OutRun doesn’t deserve love, mind you — but because everyone already knows OutRun is good. With that in mind…

And the winner is…

Continue reading The MoeGamer 2019 Awards: The Vanishing Point Award

Atari ST A to Z: Fast Lane

The “sim racer” has very much become its own distinct thing over the course of the last 20 years or so.

Back in the 16-bit home computer era, the lines between arcade racers and more simulation-like affairs were a little more blurred thanks to the limitations of the technology of the time. And that’s where games like Fast Lane come in, combining old-school “vanishing point” racing with an arcade feel and more simulation-style aspects such as damage, wear and tear and realistic pit stops.

Praised by several publications around the time of its original release, Fast Lane holds up surprisingly well today… although its lack of save functionality means you’d better set a whole day aside if you want to run that whole championship!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Wreckfest: This One’s A Right Banger

I’ve been following Wreckfest on and off for what feels like a very long time now.

Originally announced by Finnish developer Bugbear (creators of the vastly underappreciated Ridge Racer Unbounded) as Next Car Game back in 2013, Wreckfest was designed as a spiritual successor to the company’s cult hit FlatOut series, as well as a natural evolution of older titles such as Psygnosis’ Destruction Derby series, popularised in the PS1 era, and the even more venerable home computer title Street Rod from Logical Design Works and California Dreams.

After more than four years of early access on Windows PC and another year of getting the console versions up to snuff, Wreckfest is now available in all its glory for home computers, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. So let’s get our hands dirty!

Continue reading Wreckfest: This One’s A Right Banger