Sinclair User15th August 1990
Published in Sinclair User #105
Professional Go-Kart Simulator
Oh dear. This isn't so much Pro Go-Kart Simulator, more Pro Making You Go Blind As You Squint at the Awful Graphics Simulator.
Trouble is, in the effort to convey the speed and excitement of go-kart racing, the programmers have decided to make the screen as busy as possible, with the track lurching up and down and things whizzing out of the background at breakneck speed, zooming from side to side and disappearing in a whirl of pixels.
The result is a completely messy display which may look fine from the screenshots, but just you try playing it and keeping track (agghh!) of what's going on.
You begin on the starting grid with all four of your competitors in your sights. As the timer finishes counting down, they zoom off, leaving you in hot pursuit as you crash through your four gears, which change automatically as you pick up speed. At the appropriate moment you can floor the accelerator to get a Turbo Boost, but when you do the likely outcome is that you'll bash into one of the obstacles on the track, such as straw bales and lap boards, spin through space and end up in a heap of dust on the side of the road.
There's a bit more to it than just flooring the accelerator and smashing into something, but not much. The position indicator at the top of the screen shows you the remaining distance to go, and there are speed, lap and fuel indicators at the bottom of the screen. On either side are pictures of your leering opponents who pursue you over the three available tracks.
There's the seed of a good game here, but even if the animation wasn't so blindingly messy, it wouldn't have fared much in the way of originality.
On the whole, then, it's the pits (pun).
This game is most easily summed up by: "Crap on four wheels!"