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Arcade: Race 'n' Chase
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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Rich Pelley
Chris Bourne

However much other computer users may slag off the Spectrum, it has to be said that the Speccy is good for two things - propping doors open and speed. Take Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge for example. Then take your Speccy (from behind the door) and load it up. It's a driving game and (once loaded) you'll be able verify that things certainly whip along at a cracking rate. Hooray!

However, the "hooray it's fast so let's instantly give it a high mark" theory doesn't quite apply here, due to a number of factors that I am now about to mention. Firstly, the size of the playing area. In one-player mode it's only a third of the screen high so things tend to get a little squashed up to say the least. There is a good reason for this though, and that's that in two-player mode, up opens the bottom of the screen so you can race against each other in a head to head. Which leads me quite nicely onto my criticism concerning the two-player option - it's a great idea (and works a treat on the 16-bit machines) but slows down absolutely tonnes I'm afraid.

Perhaps playing the 16-bit version has addled my mind a little, but playing Lotus Esprit on the Speccy I can't help thinking the cars are a bit too big (and difficult to overtake), the tracks all a bit too similar (scenery-speaking) and the handling of the car a bit too unresponsive. But then again, maybe I'm being a bit too picky. Chase HO aside, Lotus Esprit is probably the best driving game you'll pick up on budget. Just don't raise your hopes too high.


Screenshot Text

While Sidney roared into 16th place, Lionel sat by his car and read a newspaper.