Copyright/Publisher: Datasoft, Release Year: 1985,
Genre: Formula One, Number Of Players: 1
Pleasing copy of the motor-racing arcade classic.
Arcade action explodes on your screen in this official copy of Atari's top money earner.
The Fuji Grand Prix is the setting and it's up to you to burn round the track overtaking
other drivers and notch up record-breaking lap times.
When you start the race you first have to complete a qualifying round in an allotted
time. The faster the lap time, the better your grid placing.
A lap faster than 58.50 seconds will give you the much-sought pole position and a
4000 point bonus. Lower grid placings mean less of a bonus and a harder battle to fight
your way up front.
The number of laps is optional, but if you complete the race you are given a bonus for
the number of cars passed and time remaining. You start with 75 seconds and extra time is
given for a successfully executed lap.
The game ends either when your time runs out or you finish the race. Needlass to say
speed is always of the essence.
Graphics are similar to its arace counterpart - you're given a driver's eye view. But
they lack somewhat in detail and crispness - and according to the game there are nobw four
The cars are quite convincing as you hurtle past them in excellent 3D and the way the
track scrolls from side to side as you switch lanes is another nice feature. Signboards
on the side of the track whizz by as you race, although they haven't anything written on
them which is rather a shame.
Colours are nicely used, and several types of cars are in evidence during the race.
When you crash, your car explodes in a crescendo of flame. There are some nice tunes at
the beginning of the qualifying lap, reminiscent of the arcade game, while the actual
race itself and the sound of the cars as you zoom past them is quite convincing. As you
accelerate through the gears the engine roars and if the car goes out of control there
are the appropriate skidding noises.
On a high lap race the going gets rough and the other drivers have almost kamikaze
tendencies. There's plenty in this to keep you going for that elusive chequered flag.
Race-track driving techniques
Control of the car is very tricky to a novice but is soon mastered. Don't wrench the
joystick from side to side as you scream round bends: two gentle taps will send you
from one lane to another. If you see a car round a bend on the inside, let yourself
drift to the outside lane. If the opposite happens then work yourself into the inside
with a series of taps on the joystick.
On later stages you will often find two cars side by side. Speed up behind them and
zoom along the grass verge: although you slow down you can easily ovetake them, but
beware of the dreaded signboards.
I may be in a minority, but I think this conversion is second-rate. The perspective view
of the track is inaccurate and the cars are blocky. The sound is better, as it
faithfully reproduces the tune and most of the effects of the original (but not the speech).
Pole Position has been around for some time now in the arcades, and I don't think this
official conversion is good enough to excite 64 owners.
The most impressive part of the game is the crash explosion but some areas leave
something to be desired. Control is rather tough, it being difficult to makle fine
adjustments. The car graphics are also a problem since it is difficult to tell
exactly when you have cleared another car. However, the game still retains the basic
addictiveness of racing games and I'm sure most people will be satisfied with this
Although by no means stunning, this is definitely the best race game for the 64. No other
has the realism of the much, yet unsuccessfully, copied ace race game. The 3D effect
is excellent and cars are clearly visible far away as you speed up behind them.
Control, although taking a bit of getting used to, soon becomes second natue, and
within a few games you will be hurtling through hairpin bends at truly monstrous speeds.
This game I would heartly recommend to anyone who enjoys living dangerously.