Code Masters Ltd
1987
Arcade: Race 'n' Chase
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

86,87
Tony Dillon
Chris Bourne

Broom broom. BMX's are out, racing cars are in. Why drive a silly pushbike round a dirt track when you can drive the real thing.

A Formula 1 racing machine with 200 horses under the bonnet (or something like that!?!)

And why wait for Activision's coin-op licence for Super Sprint when Code Masters gives you this now. Not that Grand Prix Simulator looks anything like the Super Sprint coin-op of course. Grand Prix Simulator is an entirely original game idea. Of course it is, ow! A flying pig just attacked me...

Anyway, let's get this review on the road.

In Grand Prix Simulator you drive your thoroughbred racing machine through... erm... well, quite a few levels. Either against a droid car or, in two-player mode, you and a friend can race each other.

Even in two-player mode, that ol' droid car is still present, just to add a bit more urgency to the race. And to move up to the next level all you have to do is simply get to the finish line in an allotted time? Alas no. To qualify for the next course you have to get a position better than the droid, ie you have to beat it. If you don't then you're out; in two-player mode this means that for you both to qualify for the next race, you both have to beat the computer generated car.

Graphically this game is not what you'd call stunning, but the tracks are laid out well and are hard enough to provide challenge.

Unlike BMX Simulator you are not just given bare dirt to ride on. GPS tracks have bridges to go over and under.

Also, narrow pathways are placed on some corners to be used as short cuts.

Audibly though, the game is quite surprising.

The title music is by that musico supremo Dave Whittaker and is well up to his fine standard. What is very pleasing is the clear speech that counts down the start of the race and tells you the results at the end.

Whatever the shortcomings of the graphic presentation, the one thing the Code Masters do seem to know all about is playability - it's really great fun and pretty flippin' addictive. Enough to drive ya crazy (joke).

Cracking stuff. Straight to number one, no probs, I'd say.

Label: Code Masters
Author: The Oliver Twins, Serge Dosang
Price: £1.99
Memory: 48K/128K (enhanced sound)
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Tony Dillon

Superb follow-up to BMX Simulator with a look and feel reminiscent of Super Sprint. At the price, how can it fail?

8/10

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PROGRAMMERS

Grand Prix Simulator is the combined effort of a number of people. The original concept was the work of the mysterious Olivers, the Spectrum conversion was by Serge Dosang with graphics by Mervin James and music by the ubiquitous Dave Whittaker.

THE OLIVERS have worked on a number of Codemasters' titles, both on the Spectrum and Amstrad.

SOFTOGRAPHY: Robin Hood (Codemasters. 1986), Ghosl Hunters (Codemasters, 1987), Dizzy (Codemasters, 1987), Professional Skiing Simulator (Codemasters, 1987 [to be released])