Spidersoft [2]
1990
Arcade: Race 'n' Chase
£3.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

79
Nick Roberts, Mark Caswell
Chris Bourne

The latest game from the Gremlin garage is Super Cars. The aim is to complete all the races in a season and win as much money as possible. The three supercars available are the Taraco Neorder Turbo, the Vaug Interceptor Turbo and the Retron Parsec Turbo. There are nine races per season: they can be played in any order but they increase in difficulty, so my advice is to start on track one (wimpo - Ed).

You start the game with a 1.6 Taraco and £5000 in cash, your first port of call is the garage. Here a range of extras are available (for a price), including power steering, front and rear missiles, turbo chargers and high speed kit. There is also a car showroom where more powerful cars can be purchased.

Choose one of the nine tracks, viewed from overhead, to race around and prepare for battle against the other three cars. Track one is fairly easy to survive, but later on torturous bends, water and oil spillages pop up. Keep your eyes on the bottom of the screen to check the damage meters and fuel gauge. Crashing into other cars or the sides of the tracks lower the engine's power, bodywork and tyre gauges. Fuel is glugged at a vast rate regardless. The garage is the place to go for repairs and fuel, but make sure you have enough money.

You need to complete the race in third position or better to survive. Rewards you receive are £20,000 for first position, £10,000 for second, and so on down the scale. Survive all nine tracks and you're awarded a £75000 bonus and moved onto the next season's racing.

Presentation on Super Cars is up to Gremlin's high standards with the choice of three car types, the garage options and more. Sadly the playability suffers, mainly due to the limited number of track layouts and the amount of computer-controlled cars in each race. On the first couple of tracks it's all too easy to finish the race first, so extras can quickly be purchased in preparation for later levels. A neat game for unskilled racers - the real hard nuts should go for Lotus.

MARK … 75%

CRITICISM

'Gremlin seem to have gone car crazy over Christmas. First Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge and now this! The first game was a little more impressive, though. This is just a Super Sprint clone with nothing much going on at all. Your car crawls around the track, with only three others to race against. Most of the time you can race around as if you were the only one there! As you can tell, the main game is very boring. Things are cheered up a bit by the attractive garage, car selection and introduction screens though, and there are some groovy tunes. All the graphics on the cars when you bring up their technical specs are excellent. Super Cars is a reasonable attempt at a racing game but it won't hold your interest for long.' NICK … 76%

A reasonable racing game overshadowed by its garage mate Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge.

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