No sooner were we zipping around in Gremlin's Lotus than they give us a new motor to wreck: Toyota Celia GT Rally sets you at the leering wheel of a brand new Toyota Celica (makes sense), with the course of the Toyota World Rally season to negotiate.
The first job is to set the playing options. These include a choice of control options, manual or automatic gears and manual or automatic steering return (ie, whether or not the steering wheel centres itself alter a bend). You can then practice in one of three countries (England, Mexico or Finland), or head straight into the racing season.
Here, you can change the number of players and the names of the drivers, and create your own navigator. There's an in-built one (arrows pop-up as you approach a bend) but he isn't perfect. Should you choose this last option, you can go round the course and input your own direction arrows.
So here we are on the starting line. The view is from the driver's seat and stretching out ahead is the tortuous course. Every second counts (as a certain balding magician is fond of saying) so a timer on the dashboard ticks away. A 20 second penalty is incurred when you spin off the track, while a hefty two minute penalty is 'earned' for a false start.
So it's crash hats on, a final word with the co-driver and off along a rutted track at suicidal speeds. That's the life for me!
Although this is a good game I still prefer Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge, mainly because of the simultaneous two-player race. Here there's a fair amount of angst while battling against the clock, but it doesn't quite beat the feeling you get when you see a mate zooming past.
Graphically, Toyota Celia GT Rally is very good and the through-the-windscreen viewpoint is something not often seen in Speccy racing games. There are some neat graphical touches inside the car, the driver's hands on the steering wheel being the most notable, but the backgrounds are a little on the sparse side.
If rallying is your cup of Castrol GTX, then Toyota Celica GT Rally is a good one. Personally, I still prefer Lotus.
MARK ... 84%
'Racing games on the Speccy always leave the landscapes and roads looking like large blocks of crude shading. However, Toyota Celica GT Rally is a good attempt, the large shaded areas broken up with roadside objects and simulated hills. Controlling the car was difficult at first. I'm so used to going at top speed on any car racing game but doing this in Toyota results in a smashed windscreen! You have to treat the game as if you were driving a real car, slowing right down on corners and steering with care. Presentation is excellent, with digitised pictures of the car and Toyota logos used in the title sequence. Toyota Cello GT Rally provides a believable spin around some nasty stretches of road. A must for all rally followers!
NICK ... 84%
More of a rally simulation than an outright racer and well worth taking for a spin!
We're in England racing in the Toyota Celica GT Rally. Mexico and Finland here we come!