It is fifty years since a nuclear conflict decimated the population and turned the world into a Mad Max style wasteland. But from the ruins has arisen a new sport: heavily armed and armoured cars race round tracks built on the rubble of the holocaust in a zone known as the Badlands.
Three cars participate, although up to two of them can be human controlled in this fast and violent game from the creators of Super Sprint. Badlands is set over eight different tracks, but things aren't as simple as they sound. You have to finish the race in first place else one of your two credits is lost (lose both and it's Game Over).
Apart from human and computer driven cars that fire machine guns and missiles at you, obstacles include hairpin bends, oil slicks, sand banks, collapsing buildings and falling power lines. The first few tracks are fairly clear of these hazards, so you have a chance to concentrate on watching out for the spanners strewn around. Collection of these allows you to purchase add-ons at the end of each race: missiles, tyres, turbo rower and shields.
I'm a great fan of this type of game, with this and Super Off Road Racer (reviewed last month) I'm being spoiled! Though Badlands doesn't have the detailed graphic style as Super Off Road Racer, the cars and backdrops are more colourful. Another bonus is that the cars in Badlands are more controllable, and it's easier to avoid disasters! Super Sprint with guns is how I would describe Badlands. I personally prefer Super Off Road but this game runs a fairly close second (mainly 'cos it's more violent).
MARK ... 78%
'It's a pity Domark have chosen to release this game at around the same time as Virgin's Super Off Road Racer, the two games are rather similar. This is nowhere near as detailed though. Badlands is a lot of fun, due to the demolition derby aspect of the gameplay, if a bit easy to complete. The tracks are nothing special - some are simply boring and others are spiced up a little with tunnels and jumps (wooo!). It's a pit you can't actually destroy the opponents - blast 'em with your gun and they just flash and carry on. Badlands is a good conversion, but the coin-op isn't innovative enough to make the game really exciting.'
NICK ... 59%
Sadly overshadowed by superior counterpart Super Off Road.