Sinclair User15th August 1990
Published in Sinclair User #105
Turbo Cup Challenge
It's going to be very hard to stretch this review out to fill the space, so let me first start by saying how nice it is to be sitting in this nice warm office when the wind's blowing outside, how kind it is of you to read this review, and how much I look forward to a hot cup of coffee and a jaffa cake as soon as I've finished typing. Ah yes, life.
It's not that I want to fill the page with meaningless waffle, it's just that there's so little to say about Turbo Cup Challenge that anyone would be hard put to fill the space (even if they were being paid by the word). Here's the instructions in full; "Each race consists of two events; the practice, which takes place on a Saturday (Does that mean you can't play the game on a Thursday? - CJ) and the final race, which is held on a Sunday. The practice determines your grid position for the race held on the Sunday. How to drive your Porsche 944 Turbo. You may use either a joystick or the keyboard. Keys: Accelerate - Q Decelerate - A Steer left - O Steer right - P." That's your lot! If you think that there must be more to this road racing game, you'd be wrong.
There are in fact four tracks to complete - Magny-Cours, Dijon-Prenois, Nogaro and Paul Ricard, which must mean something to Murray Walker, but not to me. In fact the graphics are very limited - the background buildings are particularly hopeless - but to give it its due, the game does at least give you a fair impression of 120MPH+ speeds. All you have to do, though, is steer and accelerate, gear change is automatic, so it isn't much of a simulation.
On the practice courses, the important thing is to get through without spinning off the track - for some reason it's amazingly difficult to get over the verge and back onto the track, especially if you're using a joystick. On the actual race, where your opponents zoom away from the grid at great speed, you'll be lucky if you manage to catch up with them, let alone overtake them. The best feature of the game is the Porsche car itself, which is well designed, and which turns and spins most convincingly (though not necessarily when you want it to). Not bad fun, then - doesn't add anything to the six squillion other racing games on the market, but it certainly doesn't smell as bad as burning tyres.
Glasnost be bowed! Great cold war action in this whopper, chopper stopper.