A Day At The Races

Reviewed by Jim Short


Issue 24

Nov/Dec 86

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Red Rat Software 

48K Disk 9.95 

48K Cassette 7.95 

1-5 Players
1 Joystick/Keyboard

The thrills and spills of the racetrack at home. That's the general idea behind this release from Anvil Software now distributed by Red Rat. TV racing coverage may be confined to a Saturday afternoon but you can enjoy the luxury of a continuous flat-racing season seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year simply by switching on your Atari!

The action takes place at the mythical Anvil Downs and features a full day's race-card covering 10 separate races. Up to five players can take part and, after all the names have been entered and bankrolls selected, you are then invited to place your bets with Honest Ron's Turf Accountants (about as honest as Arthur Daley, I bet!) Every race carries five runners. The program boasts a database of 100 horses, each assigned it's own name, colour, strength and odds. It is, therefore, possible to study form and improve your chances of picking a winner as the races develop. A likely story!!

When all bets have been placed you are treated to a computer simulation of the race as the horses gallop from left to right across the screen towards the winning-post. When the leading horse crosses the line, the bets are tallied up and then added to or deducted from the various bankrolls before moving onto the next race on the card. When all 10 races have been run, the final bankrolls are displayed, together with the winning punter, and you are given the option of quitting (hopefully whilst you're ahead) or progressing to the next day's racecard. Compulsive gamblers will obviously choose the latter option - there's one born every minute!

The program is written in both Basic and machine-code but this shouldn't deter anyone from purchasing it as the whole package is professionally put together and plays just like a 100% machine-code game. Text predominates but the action, when it does occur, is fast and smooth. Check out the race animation of the horses, it's as realistic as you could possibly hope for.

A DAY AT THE RACES is a punter's dream. You can afford to 'blow' as much as you like without fear of emptying your wallet or losing your shirt.
More than that, it should appeal to a wide range of Atari owners. First class entertainment for the whole family.