Sinclair User2nd April 1989
Published in Sinclair User #88
Crazy Cars II
You should remember the original Crazy Cars; it didn't come out that long ago, and it was quite well received in certain circles. Quite why Titus thought it worthwhile to release a follow-up, though, is a mystery on a par with the disappearance of Dirty Den.
Not that there's anything terrifically wrong with Crazy Cars II, as it's imaginatively titled; it's just that in a world full of Roadblasters and Supertrux and Wec Le Mans and dozens of others, it takes something very special to make an outstanding road-racing game, and Crazy Cars II just isn't it.
The scenario has you racing across a barren landscape trying to avoid the cops, rather than just racing across a barren landscape. This is a good start. The scenery dips and weaves convincingly, the trees, bollards, lampposts and barriers on the side of the road scroll convincingly, and all looks well with the world.
The trouble is that even when you kick your car into high gear and rev up to over 300 mph, you still don't get much of an impression of speed. It gets a bit difficult to steer around the sharper corners, but it's largely ho-hum and dodge the cop-cars with not much break from the monotony.
Your car twists and slides convincingly - funny how much it looks like the car in Turbo Out-Run, isn't it? - but the cop cars just sort of lurch from side to side. You can bash them off the road if you catch them just right, but if you misjudge your move there's a pretty explosion and you re-start at 0 mph.
At regular intervals along the way you come to forks in the road. Apart from the fact that you have to think fast to take a turn without smashing into a row of bollards, you also have to pick the right turning to make your way to your next destination. Needless to say, you get a bonus for completing a section within the time limit, and lose the game if you run out of time between markers.
Sound is OK - the usual vruum vruum, skwee skwee stuff - and there are some neat touches like the cloud of dust which your car kicks up when you accelerate.
Overall, though, what we have here is a game which looks sort of half-finished; only the threat of the odd cop car breaks the monotony, and you long for a missile attack or landmine to pep things up. Fairly pointless, overall.
Brumm brumm, yawn yawn. Uninspiring Road Race clone.