Sunday, October 16, 2016

Test Drive

I fancy a road trip!

Accolade's Test Drive was released in 1987 and is one of the games I got it free with my first Atari ST computer so I have fond memories of playing this during my early 16-Bit days. It begins with an intro animation of a dude sitting in his Porsche before winding down the window to display a cheesy grin and then speeding off into the sunset.

There are five cars to choose from and each is viewed on the main menu with lots of technical details (that I've never read). Their artwork is gorgeous and I personally think the Corvette is the best of the bunch for a road trip.

Okay, it's time for some screenshots so let's check out the choice of smooth riders...

I've never really been much of a Porsche fan... More of a girl's sports car, right?

Okay, it's not a Ferrari 308 but that doesn't stop me from thinking I'm Magnum P.I.

I can't say I'm a fan of this and the handling never really excites, more terrifying!

(Insert James Bond theme now). Okay, it might not be that fast but we love British muscle!!

I'm more of a muscle car fan myself but the Chevrolet Corvette is a beauty in every respect.

An oldie classic?

Test Drive is a race against the clock with points awarded for faster times along a seemingly endless mountainside highway. Driven from an in-car perspective behind the wheel, you will notice that each car has a realistically represented dashboard with manual gearbox controls that briefly display with each shift.

At first, I found the controls a little wooden, but I soon got the hang of them after a couple of races. A red dot on the steering wheel helps to pinpoint a more precise indication of your turning and direction which is as helpful as it is crude. But I must admit, it does make up for the lacking analogue controls very nicely and feels pretty natural.

Like cars? Like rocks? Then you are gonna love this next screenshot...

Ahh, the open road of a road trip. Wait, another car? Argh, it's suddenly gridlock!! ;^)

You're not alone!

Beware, you're not actually on a race track: annoying civilians are driving on these once-safe roads and they do seem to love head-on collisions!! There are also cops so it's a good job that your car is fitted with a radar to signal when they are nearby. Then, you have a choice of being good or watching them disappear in your rearview mirror!

Personally, I treat these moments as a green light opportunity to push the pedal to the metal, but that's just me! Now, just remember to refuel at the gas station checkpoint before continuing on with your Bullrun Rally.

I'm a good driver. Honest! Well, especially after a few beers as shown in this next screenshot...

Sometimes road trips can go terribly wrong...

Old school aesthetics

Test Drive has some nice characteristics which I think are hilarious - like the badly drawn grey fella driving his truck. How about the handless steering wheel or the slo-mo effect as your windscreen breaks up after a crash - it's almost worth slamming into an oncoming vehicle just to see it! Yep, I think that the graphics are nice considering the age of this famous racer and I probably like the dashboards the most - with the Corvette being my favourite.

Musically, this is nice with lots of jingles and cute tunes during the menus and screens when filling up with fuel. The sound effects of the car aren't the best; it's all buzzy compared to other oldies like Turbo Cup.

I love how the game looks, even if the cars sound like a bee trapped inside a drum. Screenshot time...

It's time to fill up before hitting that open road.

The CryptO'pinion?

Overall, an enjoyable drive without the crazy rush of a speedster like Vroom or Crazy Cars III. This is more like a charming Sunday drive but I have a soft spot for this cliffside road tripper. Why? Because it's a cracking game and even went on to be quite the historical driving series throughout the 90s. It's great to think that this series began on the Atari ST.

This is a great racing game with tons of great cars driving through the rocky American roads. Love it!!

8BitChip has a hard drive installable version which I highly recommend!
Old Games Finder has floppy disk images.
Update: There is an excellent newly uploaded video by Wasabim.
There have been many Test Drive games and I still loved No.5 on the PlayStation.

No comments:

Post a Comment