Ross: "Atari puts you in the driver's seat! Pass cars like they're standing still, but watch for those curves! One mistake and you could go up in flames!" So says Atarisoft on the cassette sleeve of Pole Position. All the features of the arcade original are in the Spectrum version, from the qualifying lap to the vicious left-hand bend that appears just when you think you're doing so well. All the joysticks are supported and the controls are nice and simple... left, right, brake and change gear.
To qualify for the race you must first complete a lap within 73 seconds - and, once you've made the grade you get allocated a grid position.
Immediately the starting light turns to green, the other cars go speeding off - leaving you to do the best you can. The car accelerates automatically, leaving you to change into high gear at about 100mph. You soon start catching up with the other cars, though, and you'll get a satisfied feeling as you coast past them. Each time you complete a lap you're given a time bonus and the end of the race comes when you run out of time or complete three laps; you'll see a little chequered flag at the finish.
For my book this is the best Atarisoft game yet. It's also the best racing game I've seen on the Spectrum and it's eminently playable. 4/5 HIT
Dave: With the possible exception of Full Throttle, this has got to be the best racing game yet... but it's far too expensive! 3/5 HIT
Roger: OK, I'm smiling! This is a great game... better than any race game yet. Buy it! 5/5 HIT