THERE MAY BE traffic lights at the busy junctions in town but it's difficult to spot them, let alone react to them, when you're having 100 mph fun in a turbo-charged Esprit.
The Turbo Esprit is one of the most dynamic cars in the world - as well as one of the most expensive - so it's good to see that Durell Software has given it the simulation treatment which will give you the pleasure of driving one.
While the software provides a fairly realistic simulation, it also gives games players something to get their teeth into. Your job is to patrol the streets of Wellington, Gamesborough, Romford or Minster in search of drug traffickers.
The car contains the very latest technology - the simulator screen displays its interior with flashing indicator lights, and a steering wheel which really turns when you're at the controls.
The town streets are displayed in 3D and viewed through the windscreen. As you change lanes, swerve and turn can also see your on the road, mingling with the other traffic.
Drug trafficking is rife in all the towns, and your job is to stop or destroy four types of smuggling vehicle before a deal is made and drugs exchanged. The first, and most common, vehicle is the blue delivery car - there are four of those involved in each stage of the game. Drugs are delivered to seedy rendezvous using red coloured armoured supply cars.
To stop the armoured cars you must bump into them - you cannot shoot them with the machine guns your bosses have installed on the Esprit. My advice, where these are concerned, is to leave them alone. If you stop an armoured car before it's made a pick-up you will gain only a few points, and no more armoured vehicles will come into the town. Go, instead, for the delivery cars but make sure you catch their drivers red-handed.
Hit cars are the vehicles to avoid at all costs. They are coloured magenta and will sneak up behind you. The mob has a permanent contract out on the Esprit and won't fight shy of turning you into lots of little twisted pieces.
The first you will know of a drugs exchange will be a flashing message on the Esprit's computer console. You should then switch to the map which shows your car and the position of any villains in the sector. The next step is one of action - chase the mob and, if possible, eliminate them.
You can shoot down villains with your machine guns, but a more civilised 4 way, and one which earns you more points, is to bump into them. Their car will be disabled and you can book them for drug and speed offences.
The simulation does not encourage bad driving habits. As well as containing a high score table it also has a table for traffic offences. It's very easy to score there. Just ride up on the pavement and let rip with your machine guns, or turn some poor innocent's Cadillac into a Mini. When you start playing with this simulation you are more likely to figure at the top of the penalties table.
Turbo Esprit is a spectacular simulation which handles like a sophisticated 3D arcade game. The author has put a lot of effort into the smooth and realistic three-dimensional effects which make it one of the best simulations on the market.
The game is what Juggernaut, from CRL, should have been and what Knight Rider, from Ocean, will need to beat when it comes out. Buy this game even if you hate simulations.
Programmer: Mick Richardson
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair, Protek, Downsway
I can remember when this was released. What a product it was! And for its time! A masterpiece! What? What do you mean, some of you only got a Spectrum recently and have no idea what it's about? You want me to tell you as well, oh the cheek of it! Still, I like you face, so here goes.
You are an undercover cop. and you have been informed of a drug delivery that's going to take place in your town (one of four, you get to choose at the start!). The story is, an armoured car is going to pop in, make four deliveries to four drug cars, and then scarper. You have to intercept the drug cars AFTER they have collected the deliveries, and then get the armoured car. The trick is, don't be seen, because once you do, all the cars will do a runner and you'll be left with egg on your face.
The graphics are fast and smooth. All the cars are well drawn, and the little people that walk around the streets are sweet and cute. Sound is limited to a beep and a squeak, though the title tune is great.
One of the best games ever released, in my opinion, and if you don't buy it, then you're one hell of a mug.
Reviewer: Tony Dillon
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