Mike Chilton
1993
Sport: Action
English
ZX Spectrum 128K
None

8,9
Tony Kaye, Garth Sumpter
Chris Bourne

Well, well Nigel has won the Formula One World Championship. Not only tat, but despite his three eyebrows he's become an international sex symbol. Now it-s your turn to follow in his footsteps and try to do the same (well- I don-t know about the sex symbol bit!). Load up the game and compete in full racing season to try and lift the crown for Great Britain for the second year running, you patriotic devils.

There's more to Formula One than just racing though. To complete the season successfully, you're going to need heaps of cunning and strategy. Finishing a race can be just as important as winning it, but you've got to end up with the points to stay on the leaderboard.

When you first load the game, you're presented with a few choices. It is possible to just start up and go, but you probably won't lift the title unless you're unfeasibly spawny. You'll no doubt have fun trying though. To succeed you'll need to look at the wider picture.

First thing on the agenda is to select what controls you're going to use. I actually found that the keyboard was more accurate than the joystick, but this is up to you and the quality of your joystick.

You can then choose which driver you want to be and, if you're a complete egomaniac, you can change the famous driver's name to your own.

Check out all of the options and settings and then head straight for driving school to sharpen your skills and practice with your chosen chassis. This practice will be crucial to your progress later on.

To sharpen your skill still further, and just for fun racing, the single race option will keep you amused. Choose your track. there are 16 altogether, and the whole world will spin beautifully to show you whereabouts your race is taking place. You also get to see what the track looks like.

When you've chosen, the next screen will give you information about the track itself, including the weather. This will help you to make the right (or wrong!) tire choice.

Tuning the car is important for optimum performance. If it's raining, you'll need wet weather tyres and you may even need to play around with the aerofoil and gear settings. The next screen lets you set all of these, based on whatever the conditions and your mood are like. Leave the aerofoil and gearbox settings at first, until you get used to what difference they could make and concentrate on getting the right tyres for the race. Finally choose whether you want the gears to change automatically or not and then off you go to the qualifying section...

To qualify you need to be quick. You do two laps of the track to determine your position on the grid for the race proper. The target is to beat the current fastest time for pole position. At the end of the qualifying period, you are shown your time and grid position for the race.

The right choice of tyres will be a definite advantage here and maybe a bit more down- force from the aerofoils or a higher ratio gearbox once you know the score.

Ok, so you've qualified for the race, what next? Well, We time to race for real. This time you do three laps of the track and the winner gets the points. All of the other drivers in the race are Nigel's competitors in the real world. ie: Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost etc. (though you'll need to get a flight simulation to compete with old favourites like Nikki Lauda). The beauty of this is that you can boast about beating them: ‘One race, honest, Guv!'. When (and if) you win, take your rightful place on the winners rostrum and collect the trophy.

Go out and buy yourself a laurel ring and a bottle of Moet & Chandon and spray your living room. Why not!

Each time you finish a Championship race, you are given a season password, so you can stop at any stage without having to start the whole game over again from scratch. More games should let you do this as otherwise you can easily get fed up with having to work your way through endless levels to get to the point you left off at last time.

Getting through a season takes guts, determination end a lot of hard work, but making the right decisions helps a lot. Take the time to experiment and the game takes on a whole new angle. As you play, imagine you've got Nigel talking to you, and you too could win the Formula One World Championship. Now down to the nitty gritty.

One of the main criticisms of this game is its lack of colour on the main driving screen, but this is more than made up for by being great fun, if a little slow feeling to play. The options and attention to detail makes the program fun too, but you'll soon start bypassing all these frills to concentrate on the racing action.

For 128K, +2, +2A tape users the loading sequence, like last month's Street Fighter 2 is a bit of a nightmare but unlike the latter it is also available on disk.

The Speccy hasn't had a good racing game for a while and at this late stage in its life I certainly didn't expect to see one. But if wearing imaginary helmets and fireproof suits and haring round your lefty track is your cup o' tea, rush out end get Nigel Mansell's World Championship. It is doubtful you'll be disappointed, especially if you have a +3 and get it on disk.

Garth Sumpter I must say I hadn't expected anything like this. I thought it was going to be just another old racing simulation but there's a lot more frills in Nigel Mansell's World Championship. Monochrome racing and apparent slowness aside this is a fascinating title with good lastability. Well worth checking out.

Nigel Mansell provides lots of race action with the additional challenge of completing a racing season. This is great for action seekers and strategists too. Although movement is a little slow, if you like racing games you'll love this one.

70%
77%
90%
91%
90%

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OUR NIGE

Nigel had several jobs before becoming a Formula One racing driver including, of all things, a bus driver. he started racing Superkarts at an early age and progressed through the ranks including Formula 3000 and Forumla Ford before being spotted and whisked into the high flying world of top flight motor racing, driving for the like of McLaren, Ferrari and, finally, Williams-Honda. He lives on the Isle of Man (a tax haven, we're told!) and has business interests that include selling Ferraris to rich people. If you're a girlie and want to marry him, you're out of luck I'm afraid as he's married with kids, and is probably far too old for you anyway, you naughty thing.

Nige is now no longer involved with Formula One and he's gone to America to try his hand at Indy Cart racing, which is a lot faster and more dangerous than F1. The carts reach speeds of up to 220 MPH as opposed to around 200 in his old sport. Incidentally, his new boss is old-time Hollywood star Paul Newman.