Leap into the cockpit, turn over the engine, hit the gas and squeeze the pedal to the metal. Ivan 'Ironman' Stewart's Super Off Road has you racing up and down dale in Virgin's conversion of the American coin op of the same name.
And it's actually really rather good. You (and a friend if you have one) race around eight different tracks in a four wheel drive car adding nitro, new suspension and all sorts of add-on gizmo's as you progress through the tracks. The game is simple and straightforward. You must compete against 3 other cars over eight tracks. Seen from above, the two human controlled cars are shown with either a white or black pennant flapping from the aerial and you simply steer them around the track, trying to avoid axle-breaking rough terrain.
You start of each season with no money, and three lives and race for cash prizes in each race. $100,000 for first place, $90,000 for second and so on to fourth position but beware! Each time a computer controlled car comes in ahead, you loose one of your three lives. At the end of which you can spend your winnings at the awards screen to improve tyres, suspension, top speed, acceleration or top up your nitro.
As you race, money bags appear on the track. First car over it collects the cash. Similarly with the tubes of Nitro which you use immediately with a quick jab on the fire button, sending your car blasting forward for a wee bit.
Overall, Ivan 'Ironman' Stewart's Super Off Road Racer is brilliant. It's highly playable, addictive and has superb gameplay. The game shows what can packed into a Spectrum and is a must for all Spectrum owners as an example of Z80 programing at its best.
Reviewer: Garth Sumpter
Hurrah! Yes, hurrah for Ivan Stewart and his Off Road Racer, otherwise we wouldn't have a decent budget race game to review this month.
This re-release comes to the newly launched Tronix label and it's one of the best racing games ever. Play is one or two players and is viewed in a 3D overhead perspective and you take one racer. The other cars are computer controlled and boy can they race! You however must try to beat them, avoid damaging your car on the rough terrain and pick up the odd can of nitro to use when needed for a quick blast, whilst picking up any money bags that appear in order to buy tyres, faster engines, higher top speeds and new shock absorbers.
There are several different tracks to choose from and the action gets racier and pacier as you progress from track to track as you make your way through the season.
I can't place higher accolade on Off Road. It's a seriously excellent game, brilliantly programed and more playable than a one note xylophone.
Price: £3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Garth Sumpter
ALAN: I'd not seen this before so imagine my surprise to find a budget game that'll knock spots off any of the full price games on release at the moment. Off Road Racer just leaves all opposition standing!
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