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

Other Links


74,75
Chris Jenkins
Chris Bourne

As Murray Walker would say, "THIS is JUST what the WORLD needs! ANOTHER car RACING game. AS IF we hadn't ALREADY played SEVERAL DOZEN of them, all EXACTLY the SAME!"

BUT, hold on Murray, let Jackie get a world in edgeways. "Hoots, Supercars is no bad, ye ken, wahay, and I should know, the noo, I was the world champion back in nineteen-hundred and twenty six."

OK, there isn't much we haven't seen before in Gremlin's sports car challenge, but it's all rather well done and for a change the setup screens aren't let down by poor racing routines, and/or vice versa.

On the opening screen you get a choice of three cars including super models like the Retron Parsec Turbo. Click on one to get a full technical run-down - dig those sexy acceleration figures! Drool over the maximum speed! Barf when you see the price!

The only way to afford the better cars is to win races. Take a trip to the Garage where Sexy Sandra the Spare Parts Slut will sell you necessaries such as turbo chargers, power steering, anti-spin units, and stuff you can't get at Kwik Fit like missiles and side armour.

Leave the garage and choose a track from the nine available, and the race is on. The tracks become trickier and twistier as time goes on, but there isn't anything silly like landmines or space aliens to complicate issues.

The graphics for the races are dead good: the small monochrome cars all look pretty samey, but the roadways are detailed and realistic, animation is decent and the multi-directional scrolling is smooth. As the count-down bleeps you rev your engine, and when the light turns green it's full pelt for the finish line: counters at the bottom of the screen show your speed, position (you are usually matched against three or four opponents). lap count, and status for Engine, Bodywork, Gas and Tyres.

Steering control is pretty responsive, and though you never seem to achieve a great impression of speed, there's real skill involved in steering tight around the corners.

Since you can bash and blast your opponents as well as trying to outsteer them, a quick trigger-finger is as necessary as a firm hand on the wheel.

If you win a round you get a little victory ceremony with race statistics, your dosh count goes up and you can visit the Sales office, where a man who appears to be eating fish and chips will offer to sell you a better car, or tell you to take a hike if you don't have enough dosh. You can also return to the garage to repair the degradation done to your tyres, bodywork, engine and fuel supply.

That's just about all there is to it; the music's super, the graphics and animation are fine, and the gameplay's quite absorbing. But, to be fair, it isn't a particularly difficult game - I managed to win race after race without any real effort - and if you want slam-bang action you might prefer Badlands or Iron Mike's Off-Road Racing. Supercars is worth a spin, though.

Label: Gremlin Graphics
Price: £10.99 Cass 48K/128K 1 Load
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins

Vroom, vroom. If you can't afford a Maserati for Xmas, Supercars might be some consolation.

89%
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