Rally Speedway

reviewed by Les Ellingham


Issue 9

May/Jun 84

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1983 seems to have been the year of the race game although several games such as RALLY SPEEDWAY seem to have taken until 1984 to appear. Epyx were the last to announce their race game, PIT STOP, but were the first to get their game to the market thus stealing some of the thunder from Atari's POLE POSITION. Finally, after many rumours that it did not exist, Adventure International got RALLY SPEEDWAY to us. Was it worth the wait? Unreservedly yes, for although it does not have the realism of POLE POSITION, the range of options and the way in which you can tailor the program to your own wishes makes this one of the most versatile and interesting programs around.

The program does not give a three dimensional perspective but relies on the 'birds-eye' view of your car on the track. This is a little disappointing at first but once you get involved in the racing and in building tracks, it is of little consequence. The options are extremely comprehensive and include 1/2 players, dry/wet/icy roads, maximum speed of 100/80/60/40 mph, slow/ normal/fast acceleration, load/make/save trax and reset lap time amongst others. There is a choice of tracks to race and the track is surrounded with trees, buildings and water making it extremely hazardous if you skid off course!

The game fine scrolls in any direction over a matrix of 12 x 12 screens and the joystick controls the car to the left and right at all times making it quite a challenge if for instance the track goes up the screen and then turns a hairpin bend to come back down again!

As a straight racing game, either by yourself or against someone else, RALLY SPEEDWAY is an excellent game but what makes it truly remarkable is the ability you have of completely redefining the track to any shape you wish and then saving that track to disk or cassette to be used later. You could if you wish build replicas of all the Grand Prix circuits in the world and have your own championship season! Two joysticks are required to build a track, one to select the track shapes and the other to place them on the screen. Not only do you have a choice of many different types of track, you can also choose all of the surrounding scenery! You can determine the results of spinning of at a particular corner. Leave it clear and you can get back on the track but if you put in a few trees or some houses or even a swimming pool there in no room for error. Spinning off into the grass is alright but if you hit a tree at high speed not only will you write off the car but your driver will come spinning out in a ball of fire!

The track building option of Rally Speedway will ensure that this game will continue to appeal long after you have got used to the track in other games. If someone could marry together the versatility of RALLY SPEEDWAY with the three dimensional realism of POLE POSITION we would have perhaps the best computer game ever produced but as it stands RALLY SPEEDWAY is still amongst the best.