Commodore User

Richard Petty's Taladega

Publisher: Cosmi
Machine: Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #21

Richard Petty's Taladega

This game has its similarities to Pole Position. You have to do a qualifying lap against the clock, and if you make it, your time determines your grid position. There are three track options, the last of which is a random course. All you've got to do then is fight your way to the front, and I mean fight, because this game allows for plenty of bumping and jostling with the other eighteen motors. Don't push too hard though, or it's curtains for you.

It's the extra features that make this game worth playing, because whilst control isn't too difficult, there are a number of strategic elements that are original. In particular, your can slipstream behind other vehicles to save petrol. Whilst this is happening your car turns a lighter shade of blue and you hear a rushing wind sound. Like Pitstop, you also get to make, yes, pitstops for more fuel, tyre changes and repairs. It's best to do this when you get a yellow flag - that way you don't lose any places. You also get told who's behind you whilst you're because each driver is programmed to drive differently.

On the minus side you get a very slow start in this game. You're often left standing on the grid whilst the others whip past you. Meanwhile your speedo tells you your're doing ninety. The game is also too long - thirty laps take quite a while, probably about half-an-hour. And another thing - who the hell is Richard Petty when he's at home?

Taladega is nevertheless not a bad addition to racing games, and is certainly different from the grand prix style approach.