I wonder why Hutch gave me Banger Racer to review? It wouldn't have anything to do with my immaculate XR3i, would it? No, surely not. My car is a pristine example of thoroughbred power harnessed under some beautifully sculpted bodywork. The sleek lines, gracefully merge... (Get on with it! Ed)
Right. Well Banger Racer comes from those kings of the management sim, D&H. And guess what? Yep, it's a management sim. This time there isn't a football, cricket ball, rugby ball or man in chunky jewellery in sight. Instead you've got a knackered old car, about fifty quid and the urge to drive into other people. You must be completely bonkers.
YOU LITTLE TINKER!
There's the usual menu screen which gives you loads of options to tinker with, but the best thing is to start off by buying bits for the car. Protection, such as roll-cages and special unexploding fuel tanks come as optional extras - so you'll have to fork out for them. If you can afford it, you could sell the car and buy a better one.
Once you've got your car sorted, you can drive around for a bit and pretend you're in training. All this, by the way, comes stark naked and without graphics of any kind. I suppose it's traditional, really. Other options allow you to check your bank balance or enter a race.
Here's where it gets, er, more interestrng. You actually have a birds eye view of the race, with your car looking a tiny bit different to all the others. You can follow your car as all the vehicles bump and bash into each other. You can't control your car but if you've set it up right, you might make your way past all the other cars to first place.
If you do come in first, you collect about £10 to spend on your car and do the whole thing over again. Win a few races and you're onto a nice little earner! It's a fast management game (unlike many, where you and all your descendants can die waiting for the menu screen to appear) and the graphics aren't amazingly crap, but it doesn't have the addictiveness of some of the D&H football sims around at the moment. (Cor, I never thought I'd hear myself say that!)
Okayish graphics and decent speed don't really rescue this 'un.
It's all push and shove in the high-flying world of banger racing, that's for darn sure.
The race is on. And which one are you? I haven't a clue.