www.zxspectrumreviews.co.uk Your Sinclair reviews are not affiliated with the website www.ysrnry.co.uk or with Future Publishing. Unless indicated the review has not been authorised by the copyright company or the individual author. If you would like this or any other review removed from this website, please contact the website administrator here.

US Gold Ltd
1988
Arcade: Vehicle Combat
£8.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

42,43
David McCandless
Chris Bourne

Forget the Monaco Grand Prix, and cast your best disdainful glare at the Indianapolis 500, because these two great road races are just a Sunday drive down to the park compared with Road Blasters, the roughest, toughest, baddest (and most luridly coloured) race of them all.

You, steering your two door GWB 68 Turbo, drive down a succession of green brick roads (in 'off to see the Wizard' vein), passing through a continent of green countries, racing through green alternating checkpoints, bulleting through rally points, swerving to avoid the sleek and fast (and green) Stingers, Command Cars, and Rat Jeeps who happen not to like you, blasting mines, gun turrets and those nasty metallic conkers out of your way, while trying to catch the green attribute packs dropped by the support jet to acquire an arsenal (honk!) of extra green weaponry and shields - phew!

Yes, this game is green, an emerald 3D driving game with Out Run undertones - but not quite as downright challenging. As you may have already guessed you play a car, one of those Lotus lookalikes with the exposed Nitro-injector engines and those smarmy double exhaust pipes jutting out the back, which you steer along a meandering three lane road. Out of the perspective horizon, nasty opponent cars appear, seeking to give you a hard time or run you off the road. Your only protection is a petty machine gun and your reflexes.

As you progress, you find that those round blobs you've been avoiding for hours are actually extra fuel and ammo, and those flat things you've been running into all the time are actually mines. Then you realise that the funny plane that occasionally appears above you is not trying to drop a thermonuclear warhead on you but extra weaponry instead. It's a learning process y'see.

The car graphics are pretty good, but the control is a little over sensitive and a happy medium is hard to maintain. The road itself, although green and bland, moves very smoothly and realistically and without a whisper of a flicker. The scrolling scenery is a little monotonous - basically trees, bushes and other arboreal delights in guess what novel colour? But in the heights of gameplay passion you rarely notice.

Gameplay isn't overly fierce, but there is a choice of difficulty in the form of regions: Bubble City, the Forest sector and the Desert region - each one being a dab more treacherous than the last. And collision detection is very iffy - you can actually manage to drive over a car before the computer notices that you should be exploding into thousands of green pixels.

This is one of the game's you expect to be good, find it seems rubbish, and then suddenly find it sticks to you like an addictive leech. Although it doesn't compare very well with the original arcade, its remorselessly lulling gameplay, slick programming and the occasional good graphic elevates it to possible Out Run equality.

A verdcant road racing game. It grows on you like an addictive leech.

8/10
7/10
8/10
8/10
8/10