It's cars, cars and more cars this winter - and some makes seem especially popular. A lot has been heard recently about the two cars in The Duel, as they also star in US Gold's Turbo Outrun, and here's some more: The Ferrari F-40 and Porsche 959 are the two fastest production cars in the world, though the 140 has a slightly higher top speed and a taster 040 mph, so there.
One or two players can participate in this race of a lifetime, though if a friend isn't readily available the computer takes over. Once you've chosen a car it's time to make up your mind on the difficulty level: this ranges from easy (automatic gearbox) to hard (which only Nicko 'boy racer' Roberts would try).
If in one player mode you can try to outrun the computes controlled car, or beat the clock. But whatever you do, drive like a loony, but watch it: some of the twists and bends in the road look as it they were designed by one. The other thing apart from the sheer drops you must beware are the cops. Some give chase and try to overtake (a ticket is the result of this), while others just seem to sit at the side of the road and expect you to stop. Highly likely! Complete a given stretch of road and you must pull up at the gas station whilst the computer informs you of the race statistics (your average speed, time, who won the lap etc). Then it's time to burn more rubber until the race is won - or lost!
I quite enjoyed playing the original, so The Duel-Test Drive II on the Speccy was eagerly awaited. Was the wait worth it? Well, yes and no. Yes because graphically The Duel is rather good. No because the computer controlled driver is well nigh impossible to get past. It may be my lack of driving skills, but I continually crashed into him. Maybe I'm being miserable, but The Duel- Test Drive II can be summed up in the immortal words of a TV ad: it's good, but not that good.
MARK ... 71%
'More car racing games (groan), but wait a minute, this is really quite good. It's sort of like Hard Drivin' without the hard bit The graphics are of course in shaded 3-D which works well for most of the time- it's just on things like tunnels you get a bit disorientated. One second you're happily driving down the road at 200mph and the next you're plunged into darkness hardly seeing the tunnel entrance. Perhaps that's what it's like to drive at 200mph, but I can't say I've ever gone that fast! The lack of colour variation in the view out of the car has been made up for in the dashboard underneath. Each level is a different monochrome. There are plenty of surprises in store on the roads including high cliffs to fall off, sharp bends to skid around and lunatic drivers coming down the wrong side of the road... wait a minute, it's supposed to be in America isn't it... AARRGGHH! Test Drive II is worth taking a look at, but you could soon get bored of driving up and down the same roads.'
Fun to drive for a while, but fuel for long term playability may be lacking.