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Leisure Genius
Andy Green
1986
Arcade: Race 'n' Chase
£9.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
SpeedLock 2

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30
John Gilbert
Chris Bourne

Scalectric. Remember those toy slot-car racing sets a few years back? The set-up is expensive but Leisure Genius has hit upon an inexpensive alternative. It's a kind of Pole Position construction set! Design a track, then take on a friend or the computer to see who will be first around its straights, curves and chicanes.

The circuit design phase is neatly icon-controlled. Set the track-laying arrow to where you want to place the starting gate, then select a horizontal (across the screen) or vertical (up the screen) position.

There are 15 types of track section including four types of curve just like the real thing: outer, standard, inner and banked.

Once you're happy with a circuit design you can save it to tape.

If, however, you don't want all that creative bother you can load in one of the 17 authentic Formula One circuits included in the package. Silverstone and Brands Hatch are available for your personal races but, if you want to go further afield, you can try Rio Brazil, Imola and Monaco among many others.

Either way, once the circuit is fixed the race proper begins. Your car has a top speed of 240 mph but on the tightest curves you'll spin off at over 50.

Bumping against the grassy edge of the track slows you down and gives your opponent a chance to scrape past especially if you are on the hard option of the three play levels. The chicanes are the trickiest. The track narrows, so only one car can pass at a time. If you're overtaking your rival at the time you'll end up splashed all over a grassy verge.

The Pole Position like 3D sequences, in which your car is in the top window and your opponent's at the bottom, are a bit slower than other race games but the track construction option, which is a I whole lot of fun, more than makes up for it.

Label: Leisure Genius
Author: Andrew Bradley
Price: £9.95
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: John Gilbert

****

It could be called Pole Position Construction Set. Not as fast as some racing games but the DIY design option compensates.

4/5