Super Sprint - Rerelease
Copyright/Publisher: Electric Dreams, Coding by: Catalyst Coders, Allan Shortt,
Graphics by: Mark Jones, Release Year: 1987, Genre: Formula One, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

It's been a rubber-burning Xmas for race games, so has this 1986 Atari coin-op still got what it takes?

Gameplay is simple. Once the game has loaded you can choose how many players are taking part, one or two, and whether there will be any computer-controlled racers. Initially there are four race tracks to choose from, with four more loaded in if you beat the computer player on all of the first four.

The race is presented from an overhead view, with the tiny race cars zooming around the static track. To make things more interesting there are jumps to make, shortcuts through moving gates, and golden spanners to collect.

Obtain three spanners and you have a choice of increasing your traction, speed, acceleration or score. Bumping into a wall at low speed sends you into a spin, while high speed collisions blow up the car - a replacement is promptly dropped by helicopter.

Cars are unlimited: only finishing first matters in this race game. To increase the chances of prospective James Hunts being doused in kerosene there are oil patches, water slicks, and tornadoes. These send the cars into long spins, losing lots of precious seconds.

Back in 1987, Super Sprint spluttered over the finishing line with a slovenly laptime of 58%. The main factor in its poor performance were bugs, such as the helicopter putting players back in the wrong place and misjudging finishing places.

At 3 rather than 10 these bugs become slightly more acceptable, while an adequate tune and okay graphics haven't aged too badly. While I found the control a bit irratating and fiddly, Phil and Robin have had an enjoyable hour or so in head-to-head competition on its race tracks. Well worth a look, especially if you've got a friend to compete with