1988
Arcade: Race 'n' Chase
£9.99
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes

100,101
Paul Sumner, Nick Roberts, Mark Caswell
Chris Bourne

Ever fancied roaring around a racetrack at high speed? Standing on the winner's podium with a bottle of champagne in one hand, and a blonde in the other? Well in this game, the player at least gets to try the racing bit. Converted from the Atari coin-op game, Championship Sprint gives one or two people the chance to test their driving skills on a Grand Prix racetrack.

Initially, participants are given the choice of either racing on a standard track or on one of their own design, created using the track editor which is included on the flip side of the tape. The program then prompts for the number of players and their chosen control method (joystick or keys). Once this is set, the course itself may be selected from one of eight tracks.

The game starts with four cars sitting abreast of the starting grid. The flag drops, and they're off! Human drivers compete against computer controlled opponents and attempt to finish first over each three-lap race. Not only having to contend with their digital adversaries, there are also hazards on the track: oil, water, gravel, and a baby whirlwind do their best to send the player spinning off the road. However, help is at hand in the shape of gold spanners: collecting four of these endows the player's car with useful bonus extras for the next race, such as turbo boost and higher top speed. At the end of the current race the cars are shown in the pits, along with their placings, scores, and best lap times.

If in a particularly creative mood, the player can use the construction set to design devious tracks to delight or annoy friends. Selections are made by clicking the cursor on a series of icons placed along the right-hand side of the screen. These allow the user to view the segments of track that are used to create the course, select obstacles to place in the drivers' way and check a finished track for faults. Once completed, tracks can be saved to tape for posterity.

CRITICISM

'And they said Super Sprint was bad! Additions there may be, but improvements they aren't. My main gripe with both the Sprint games is the appalling collision detection. The track may be drawn to look smooth and circular, but if you actually examine the limits by banging into the sides of the track you'll find it blocky- in other words somebody couldn't be bothered to use pixel collision detection and settled for the easier, and less accurate, character detection. If this aspect of the game wasn't so infuriating then it could be mildly addictive. One of the plus points is the track designer: it should lengthen the lastability by a few weeks - if you can be bothered to load the editor, design your track, save your track, load in the main game and then load in your saved track (phew)!' PAUL

'It was enough to have to put up with the tiny graphics and irritating gameplay of the original Super Sprint but to stand another dose of the same, well it could be fatal! (To the enthusiasm, at least) The only aspects that cheer up the game are the vaguely decent pictures of racing cars in between courses. Championship Sprint suffers terribly from colour clash which makes the potentially rubbish graphics even worse (if that's possible), and gives the game a generally untidy feeling. There are no sound effects or tunes, which all detract from a generally uninteresting, unimaginative game. If I didn't know any better, I would think it was budget game: it's definitely not worth the £9.99 asking price!' NICK

'I've never been a great fan of racing games, and often find that I spend more time off of the track than on it. This was the case with Championship Sprint: control of the car seemed very loose and 'soggy'. Aggrieved by the faultless performances of the computer controlled cars as they zoom around the track, I soon found that the game bored me to tears. Graphically, it's okay: the track and backdrops are all quite nicely drawn, but the can themselves look a little crude and simplistic. The construction set is a nice Idea, but even with the facility to design a track, I feel Championship Sprint won't hold your attention for very long.' MARK

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: a large range of sections allow many varied tracks, although the individual segments are simply drawn
Sound: appalling. No tunes and few spot effects
Options: definable keys, track construction set and one or two players
General Rating: A a penny under a tenner Championship Sprint is very bad value - even with a track designer.

58%
44%
44%
41%
44%

Screenshot Text

Ready and steady but no go.