It's here! Burnin' rubber and wheel spinning off the grid, Turbo Outrun is the latest US Gold conversion of the Sega coin-op of the same name, which itself is the follow-up to the hugely successful Outrun arcade machine.
This time around you've upgraded your tyred (aghh) old Ferrari Testarossa to a brand spanking new Ferrari F40, complete with auto and manual gears and turbo boosters to help you burn off the opposition as you hurtle across America with no regard to the Highway Code or any other road users. And burn you must, for there's a strict time limit to each of 16 stages and if you don't reach the next checkpoint before your timer runs out, then your chances of taking the checkered flag are nil.
As you race from New York to Los Angeles, you pass through many American states, each featuring its own landscape and vehicles on the road. Every level is loaded separately, which works fine on disk, with only a couple of second's pause as the next section is loaded in, but the 48K Spectrum will have to load in each section whilst 128K machines will load a few stages at a time making the multi load less of a pain in the driving seat.
The race opens as a straight hell-for-leather blast across America for your fickle girlfriend (who wubs wou) and you (who probably wubs your wonderful set of wheels.) You must complete each stage within the time limit to advance.
Also, there's a wee sub plot going on involving the attentions of your girlie - if you complete 4 stages but lose to the Porshe 959 in each stage, then your girlie will get out of your car and bugger off with the macho mutha in the Porshe.
So, if you're not doing so well, it might be useful to activate the turbo boosters via the fire button and send the car rocketing down the road. But take care when you do this - too much boost results in the engine overheating, indicated by a bar at the top of the screen, and you have to ease off while it cools down.
At strategic points along the route there are garages where you're given the choice of a hi-powered engine, extra turbo boosters or hi-grip tyres to help you attain even higher speeds. The big problem is that you're only allowed one item per stop, so choose wisely.
So much was expected of Turbo Outrun and most of the goods have been delivered. The only gripe I have is that it very difficult to see cars directly ahead of you and so it's necessary to career all over the road in an attempt not to run into anything in front which makes the whole exercise annoyingly more difficult than it needs to be.
Label: US Gold
Author: In House
JIM SEZ: 80%
"Turbo Outrun is a vast improvement on it's predecessor. It's by no means perfect, but one of this year's better driving games."
A brilliantly accurate conversion that suffers from a lack of vision.
That Porsche owner is after yer bird! You don't have to win every race but come let him beat you 4 times and no girlfriend!
Press the turbo button and you'll soon be showing this lot a clean set of rear tyres. That could be a car up ahead though!
Neeeearrrrr! is it a bird, is it a plane? No it's that daft bugger Garth trying to look under his car without using a jack!
Try to avoid the barriers that have been left lying around. Whoops - there goes the no claims bonus!
Well here we are driving flat out in Pittsburg and it's absolutely beautiful - there's not time for a romantic snog though!