By Al Giovetti01/01/88
Driving games have been up to this time rather tame. Test Drive takes a quantum leap into the future with fast action and superior graphics supplimented with a driving sound track.
Just to make the game interesting, Accolade has added police cars to the mix. A police car can overtake your vehicle and give you a speeding ticket. Once you let the policeman pass you, the computer take over control and the ticket is given automatically, and then you are permitted to continue playing. If you strike the police car the game is over. A radar detector will help you to avoid speed traps, by warning you to slow down to avoid the police or you could just outrun them. There will be no roadblocks up ahead, if the police car cannot overtake your vehicle, you are home free.
The game is first person perspective with a gearshift, a brake and a accelerator. The dashboard of the cars appears in front of the driver. If you run off the road, the windscreen develops cracks. By completing sections of the game in order, you proceed onto the next area of the road. The mountain road sourse is loaded with curves and hilly areas.
You shift with the fire button while a pop-up window in the lower right portion of the screen shows the shift lever moving through the gears. The dash boards of the cars appear as they do in the real vehicles, along with a steering wheel which moves as you steer from left to right. A rear view mirror in the upper right of the screen shows the road behind the car.
An option allowed you to use the joystick to emulate a shift lever, but this was so awkward that no one will use it. Most will probably opt to use the fire button instead.
If you succeed and avoid the cops through several gas stops, you are told to open the glove box and given the title to the car as your reward.
Cars You Drive
Take your pick of five high performance cars, including a red Ferrari Testarossa, green Lotus Turbo Esprit, Porche 911Turbo, Lamborghini Countach, and Chevrolet Corvette. The cars have been designed to behave like the originals. Each car has its own dashboard that looks exactly like the real car right down to the guages. The Corvette has the electronic or digital guages rather than the normal guages with the needle like indicator of speed, rpms, and gas.
The graphics were remarkable for the time, with beautiful puctures of the cars in side view and the statistics of top speed, torque, horsepower, engine type, height, length, width, turning ratio and many others on the one page screen.
Mostly out the front window, the scenery scrolled by smothly with the backs of other cars, trucks, and police cars animated. The road showed cliffs going off the left down to the sea (looks like Ocean Highway near Malibu California) with cliffs going up to your right.
Sirens, screeching tires, engine reving noises, and other sound effects really set this one off.
UtilitiesSave games are not available.
Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough
ReferencesDavid M. Wilson, Computer Gaming World, number 44, February, 1988, pg. 44.