Take to the highways in a turbo-charged Lotus Espirit as you participate in a race against other equally expensive sports cars. There are a staggering 32 courses ranging in difficulty from easy to ridiculous. If that's not enough for you there's also a two-player, split-screen, head-to-head mode where you can pit your skills against a mate.
Lotus is one of the best driving games on the speccy in years. It's fast, addictive and there are enough tracks to keep you occupied for ages.
Price: £3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Mark Patterson
Gremlin build their lotus's tough. After driving my white Esprit Turbo numerous times into boulders and barriers on the long curves of Verona(!), I began to wonder how the fibre-glass body of the Esprit could take the punishment. I wiped the sweat off my brow, pulled my black driving gloves on just that little bit tighter, flicked a tic-tac, adjusted my Raybans, scratched my side-burns... etc, etc. I was ready. Tom Cruise eat your heart out...
You select your options, 1 or 2 players, manual or automatic gears, and one of two tunes that you can hum along with nonchalantly as you're being lapped by rival turbos. Automatic gears and acceleration are the best bet, for beginners using forward on the stick to accelerate and fire or space bar for brakes.
There are 32 different courses, 7 easy, 10 medium and 15 hard to rip around as you progress through the different levels and are forced to drive through worsening conditions. Icy roads, dusty roads, deserts, etc. None of the races take place on actual race tracks but on roads. Weird ones. I found that it was easier to drive on automatic as I'm a lazy sod.
Interesting going over a hill. The car flys into the air, you have no idea of the direction that the road is going to swing in, but you can still STEER YOUR LOTUS IN MID-AIR!!! This must be one of the latest improvements to the new Lotus. I was impressed.
At the starting line, the snort of high powered turbo engines fill the air (well, the computer makes a farting sound. And... you're off! Watch out for sudden bends and bumps although the car seems to be invulnerable, crunching barriers & boulders in it's path as you oversteer and swing off the road.
Nice skidding noises accompany you round bends whilst the (monochrome) graphics are good. The movement of the road as you progress is smooth, the car responsive. Maybe too responsive. But then, I haven't driven a Lotus before.
Available for both the 48k and 128k speccy, the 48k version gives you the snarl of the Lotus engine, but no tune to hum along to...
Price: £10.99/£14.99 48K/128K
Reviewer: Jason Naik
I've wanted tp drive a Lotus Esprit Turbo ever since Mr. Bond himself, Roger Moore blasted his one around in the 'Spy Who Loved Me'. Gremlin first launched this game in 1990 and I'd almost forgotten about it when suddenly, like a Sheffield based Q, GBH drive it onto my desk yet again.
"The name is Al... Big AL" I said as I pulled on driving gloves, deserted all the lovely ladies and headed out on the road in my white Lotus Esprit Turbo. There are in fact no less than 32 different roads to burn up in this game; seven easy, ten medium and fifteen hard, though the terms easy and medium are loosely applied in this instance. There is a option on automatic or manual gears and to be honest I would heartily recommend the auto box as it considerably eases the job.
The featured courses are planned against a background of lush, wood-lined European style countrysides, dusty desert tracks, a ice covered highways. Luckily one doesn't meet traffic in the opposite direction because control is, to say the least loose, but this does add a bit of spice to the game.
One of the more unusual aspects of Lotus is the car's ability to steer while in the air after driving over a particularly big in the road... This just about makes up for the sad lack of underwater gear which Bond's Lotus had.
Turbo Challenge operates in single or two player mode. In two player the screen splits in half with a car featured simultaneously in either section. This makes for some very competitive racing indeed! Graphics are monochrome but very well defined and sound consists of a fine variety of tunes as well as engine sounds in 128K mode but just engine noises in 48K.
Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge is definitely one of the better outright road racing games available on the Spectrum and it's not really that long since it was out as a full price. If you're into this sort of action it's well worth taking a look at this game.
Price: £3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Alan Dykes
GARTH: Call me a boring old fogey bit I've never been very keen on this game. I found control a little too loose and the two player mode looks too squashed up for my liking. That's what I thought of it as a full pricer anyway. However as a budget I must agree that it warrants a look.
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