One of the more obscure Sega coin-ops around, Hot Rod is basically a rip-roaring racing game. At the start you're alloted a supply of fuel which must last you throughout the race. Supplies can be picked up, but be the first to grab them or the other competitors will. Other cars aren't your only worry: as you race round the track the screen scrolls with you. If you move too slowly it swallows you up and deposits you further down the track (twenty units of fuel lighter)! Plenty of obstacles both natural and man made try to prevent you reaching that finishing line too.
Reach it and you collect a hefty dosh, and points, bonus and move into the parts store. Buy bumpers, tyres, front and rear engines and wings to continue the race in better form. If you can be bothered, that is. It just does not work. The cars are monochromatic, so you never know just which vehicle is yours. And when that confusion is sorted, you lose track of the direction it's pointing in ('cos both ends look the same). What a pointless exercise! After the excellent Hammerfist last month it's a shame to see this escape from the Activision stables.
MARK ... 30%
'Hot Rod is a very basic car racing game. I used to play this type of thing for 5p at the Ludlow May Fair! A badly drawn car would slide around an even worse drawn race track, colliding with everything. Yes folks, this is that bad. The graphics may be a little better drawn than those early arcade machines, and this version may sport a bit of colour, but the basic idea is the same. The cars control in a similar way to the CodeMasters BMX Simulator series. You can improve on your car's performance between stages at a special parts shop. Items such as tyres, engines and wings (don't remind me! - my poor car) can be added on, but if you ask me they don't make the slightest difference! Hot Rod would suit a budget label. The game style is just out of date, even though it may bring back a few memories.'
NICK ... 48%
One of the worst Sega licences Activision have produced. What happened guys?