C&VG1st February 1987
Published in Computer & Video Games #64
This game takes you back a bit to the days of the old Atari VCS machine. An overhead view of a racetrack with little flat-looking cars driving over a flat-looking circuit.
But don't think I'm criticising here. Street Machine is a surprisingly entertaining game. The Amstrad graphics outshine the C64 version however. Amsters get a better-looking background which makes the games look slightly more impressive.
The basic idea is to drive you street machine - which on the packaging looks like Geoff Brown's Ferrari but on the screen looks like a beefed up go-kart - around a tortuous track, racing other cars and trying to get the lap record.
There are three stages to the race. Stage one is the easiest with fine weather and dry roads. This doesn't prepare you for stage two which takes place at night in a thunderstorm which is slightly preferably to stage three which takes place after a blizzard leaving the road covered with snow and ice.
The C64 version features other cars which try to bump you about. The Amstrad version seemed to lack these extra opponents - on stage one anyway. What makes this game - which reminds me graphically of the coin-op called Sprint III - different from other race type games isn't just the overhead view.
Crash or damage your car in some way and you are shown the "maintenance chart". This is a screen - or in the case of the C64 version, screens - which show detailed percentage damage to different parts of your car. You have a time limit in which to move a highlighted cursor around "repairing" the damage.
Repair the wrong things and the race is over - so a reasonable knowledge of what keeps a car on the road is useful here. After all, a car on the road is useful here. After all, a car will work perfectly OK without a windscreen - but could have trouble if the steering is totally shot! Try to keep everything under 79% damage and you should be free to go on.
The track is quite demanding with some tight corners and difficult obstacles.
The "car" is pretty responsive - more so at higher speeds. And yet, you can get into a nasty skid if you try to corner too fast. As I've already said, the Amstrad version is the more attractive of the two. It has a better feel to it and looks nicer. The C64 version has flat colours and lacks visual appeal - but it's still pretty playable. Street Machine is by no means a classic but if you like the coin-op I've already mentioned then, for the time being at least, this is the nearest you're going to get to it.