Amstrad Action1st February 1987
Published in Amstrad Action #17
Here's your chance to get into the driver's seat of a powerful road car. (The cassette cover reminds me of a Lotus, but it could be anything.)
The idea is simple: race round the streets of a fairly densely populated area and reach the finish line before your computer opponent. Simple it may sound, but achieving it is another matter.
Starting the race is rather unfair, your opponents being streets (sorry!) ahead of you. The only way to catch him up is to travel at full speed. One problem though: when turning a sharp corner, the car will skid quite drastically. This is fine if you're an experienced driver; you can make good use of it. On the other hand, if your driving is a little shaky, it's full speed along the straights and brakes before turning.
You are given a bird's-eye view of the course, more scrolling into sight as you reach its edge. The scrolling is top-class, very smooth and extremely fast (well, when going full-speed anyway). One drawback is that when another car is near, the screen flickers horrendously - admittedly it does not detract at all from the gameplay.
There is a fascinating bug (or is it a feature?) in the game: when another car is on screen, you can go anywhere. Anywhere being fields, hedges and houses - this is the time to put your foot on the accelerator. Unfortunately the program recognises this: When you cross the finish line nothing happens.
If you crash the car at 'Sunday-driver' speed then up pops a maintenance chart. You have to repair things like sump, fan and suspension or else it's game over. Crashing at high speed is disaster: no second chance.
The graphics and sound may be rather basic, but Street Machine has lasting appeal and is immensely enjoyable to play.
It's an old idea for a game but I must say I found myself quite addicted to it. It's quite a test of driving skill as you squeal around corners and try to squeeze past the opposition. Not everyone's cup of tea but there's plenty of fun to be had skidding and crashing around.
Green Screen View
Even the skid marks are visible.
First Day Target Score
Complete first course.
P. Amazing bug that allows you to cheat.
P. Pulse-pounding gameplay.
P. Try it once and you're hooked.
N. Graphics are a let-down.
N. Sound is little better than average.