Amstrad Action1st May 1986
Published in Amstrad Action #8
The Last V8
Nothing to do with doodlebugs or secret weapons but a souped up car that along with its scientist owner has survived a global holocaust in an underground bunker. The car now has radiation shielding, a tele-modem link to base and a top speed of 200kph. You've ventured out onto the surface of the planet but are threatened by a delayed attack nuclear warhead.
What all that means is that you've got to get your car back to the safety of the bunker before the bomb blows or the car's radiation shield decays. The journey to the base is broken up into two stages, one out in the open countryside and the other on the inner city road system. The first stage has to be completed within a time limit which you won't find easy to beat.
The car begins on a tarmacked road in the middle of some picturesquely green scenery. The way behind it is blocked and the route you have to take is obvious. The par accelerates In the direction that it is moved and it will take a while to get a hang of this control because of the inertia and skillful steering required.
The car has to be kept on me road or just clipping the grass verge but any sort of contact with trees, buildings, hedges, fences will crash it and send you back to the start. The initial route is fairly straight, and can be negotiated at top speed - but you soon enter some twisting, turning roads that force the car to slow down or crash. The route is fairly obvious with only a couple of blind turnings that you'll soon learn to avoid.
The second stage is in the maze like environment of the city where the problem is one of finding the base as well as avoiding radiation damage. This is where the shield and distance-to-base gauges come in handy, allowing you to home in on the base and to know how close you are to death. All the turns in the city are at right angles and the thing to watch for are radiation areas that you want to pass through as quickly as possible.
The instrument panel at the bottom of the screen is beautifully drawn to show the dashboard of the car. It shows speed, fuel, time left, turbo, rpm, shield and distance to base. Most of these aren't needed at all until the second stage.
Both stages feature smooth multi-directional scrolling and, although this display is only half the screen, it has some excellent detail on it. The control and time limit may seem unduly harsh at first but they'll act as quite an incentive to get further and better. A nice package that just lacks a little depth.
As a steer-'em-up, this is pretty good, but that is all the game is - a matter of keeping your car on the road. It requires a lot of skill and induces large amounts of frustration as you go back to the start each time you crash.
Great - as far as it goes. Unfortunately, it lacks the depth and variety needed to give it real staying power. A near miss.
Green Screen View
Pretty muddy - very hard to see your vehicle. But it's still playable.
P. Excellently detailed screen display.
P. Smooth multi-directional scrolling.
P. Great music throughout the game.
P. Difficult to complete.
N. May be too tough to control.
N. Lacks depth and can become repetitive.