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Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge by BMan2
Game:Lotus Esprit Turbo ChallengeCompany:Gremlin Graphics
Type:RacingPlayers:1-2

It's amazing what the luxury of a fast computer allows you to do. You can play Quake 2 at blinding speeds - or maybe compile your hundred thousand line piece of source in the blink of the eye. But I've found a better thing for it - because tonight - I realised I can play MY favourite game of possibly the last ten years. That game? Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge for the Commodore Amiga.
Yes emulation freaks - grab a copy of UAE - because this one is for you - and if you're lucky enough to be a racing game fan - this is in my opinion - the most brilliantly executed arcade racing game EVER. Forget Out Run, forget Power Drift - because this baby corners like it's on rails :P
To set the mood - you are at the wheel of a Lotus Esprit Turbo - a fairly mean piece of machinery for the time it was created in. You are offered a behind the car view of your beast - as you wind your way through over 30 different courses - each with their own tricks, traps and pitfalls. To qualify - you must finish in the top ten of each race - gaining you championship points along the way.
Think there's much to like about this game? Yep! As soon as one of the four selectable music tracks cuts in - you're head long into dodging and weaving around the corners and the other annoying cars with one of the most beautiful scrolling race tracks seen for it's time. And dodge you will - because your car gets to quite great speed - and a collision with one of the many obstacles or cars wastes you precious seconds.
But wait - there's more - and it's the TRUE highlight of the game - split screen mode. I have fond memories of spending HOURS upon hours crouched across a Star Cursor joystick - half competing and half collaborating with a friend over this game (downing copious amounts of coffee and jaffas I must say :P) The competition is fierce - and the collaboration (i.e. "Someone's gotta qualify") brings a lastability to this game - that keeps it going for you for many MANY months.
Graphically, Lotus moves well - the collision detection's are good - maybe a LITTLE on the generous side. The backgrounds are drawn well and add colour to the playfield - not that you'll notice them as you spin past them at a rate of knots. Sonically, it's well done - with the game testing the good old Amiga's 4 channels to the maximum - the screech of your brakes around the corner often interrupting the music track! Control wise - it is intuitive - and flows freely to the car - though I recommend staying away from the manual gearing option - I've finished this game many times without even bothering. This is a definite purists only option - though nice to have in there. Overall, the controls give a wonderful arcadey feel - whether you're using joypad/joystick - or even the humble keyboard!
Can you NOT like this game? Well, maybe. But you'd have to hate the genre with a passion. Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge is FUN with an exclamation point - and if you've got the computer (it runs superbly on my PII 400 with emulated sound) - get UAE - and grab it. Slower computer users may find they have to turn the sound off to get good speed - an acceptable trade off for such a brilliant piece of gaming history. GO!!!
Graphics
9
8
Sound
Play Control
9
8
Challenge
Replay Value
10
9
Performance
1999 EmuViews