Friday, August 28, 2020

Crazy Cars III

Oh no, another Crazy Cars game?

Yep, and I must admit that I was a bit worried because the first was rather crude and the second had infuriating mechanics that angered me. So, as you can imagine, I was sceptical but this. Anyhow, it's 1992 (I wish) and Titus appeared to have redeemed themselves with something that actually looks rather good?

The background story is funny but proves you should never look a gift horse in the mouth. When somebody offers you a Lamborgini Diablo, at a rock bottom price, take it and then drive it away as fast as you can!! Which is exactly what we're doing for Crazy Cars 3. Sure, we spent most of our life savings but, in return, we have a sexy sports car and enough cash left over to begin competing in America's Bullrun - the Saturday Night Races.

It might sound lame but this event is huge and takes place throughout the lower 48 States against many rival drivers. There are four divisions and, of course, we begin right at the bottom of the fourth with a measly $6000 left in the pot. Thankfully, that's more than enough to get us racing through Miami, Denver and Memphis. Each win increases your purse, thus opens up the possibility of competing in the more expensive races in other locations.

The map shows each race and who you'll be competing against. Fancy a wager?

Put the pedal to the metal!

Well, before you rush off and waste precious cash, it makes sense to practice. So look at the map and take a stab at anything you like. Each location is different with a varying degree of difficulty thanks to narrow, twisty lanes, obstacles and other cars. Not to mention the cops who are looking to boost their Christmas party fund.

Once you feel you've practised enough, slap yourself and practice some more. You won't regret that. Eventually, you will be ready and can head over to the Tournament with confidence. Pick yourself a character, I'm always the Mr T lookalike! It's now a good idea to start cheap with something you can afford, I advise Memphis. All "yellow" coloured places are initially open to you with details of fees, prizes and details of those dreaded cops.

Official prize money is only awarded for coming 1st, 2nd or 3rd but it's possible to boost that via your fellow rival drivers. These guys are always up for a flutter which might be a good opportunity to earn extra money? So long as you don't get too big for your boots and have bothered to practice on more than just a few tracks...

This dream machine won't run very well without repairs and expensive tune-ups.

Titus 2:13

I'll say it now, I love Crazy Cars III which is thankfully nothing like the first two games in terms of its quality. What a rush slamming it down the road, zooming by the other cars, with the thrill of finally passing a dreaded rival. Controls are excellent with the joystick used to steer this red beast. Push up or hit fire to accelerate and pulling back breaks. You can choose between manual or auto gearboxes which means I always choose the latter!

This racer is fast and furious (sorry) and feels like Titus sneakily took the best bits from a number of others, like Lotus II for example. But that's okay, there are lots of examples of ripoffs being better than the originals. Play dirty if you need to but always keep an eye out for the cops. Those guys never give up and will try to chase you all the way through to the end. So whaddya gonna do? Flee or be a good citizen... FLEE, of course!!!

Collect the bounty for winning a race and then grab what's owed to you by losing rivals. Now, it's time to think and decide just how you're gonna spend that cash. Car repairs, or enhancements like a better gearbox, turbo boost, tyres, etc. Perhaps another harder race which is now unlocked because you're the Million Dollar Man? This routine is continued until you earn enough dosh to enter into the Divisional Race for a possibility of promotion.

One of the best looking arcade racers I've ever seen with lots of lush colours.

A shiny red car and a roaring engine?

Yup, now it's onto the aesthetics which never matter but are still nice to have... So, what do we have?

Well, the graphics are ace. Simple as that. This is one of the most glamorous 16-bit racers with a decent framerate and good sprite scaling for everything that whizzes by. The weather effects are a nice addition but only if you've remembered to change tyres. However, it's the palettes which I adore the most using beautiful colours!

Audio is good with a neat tune and decent sound effects. Most effects are YM chippy and could have been better but there are some neat extra touches, like when going under a bridge. The best is the whirring sirens of the cop cars which are excellent. But this also highlights the Diablo's mundane engine sounds. Catch 22. Ah well...

Three screens you never want to see: the cops, losing, and the ultimate heartbreak!

The CryptO'pinion?

Every game has a flaw or two and I thought my Diablo suffered lethargic cornering compared to the others. Also, I wasn't a fan of the narrow tracks with too many stupid locals getting in my way! My driving skills suffered, as did my wallet paying for all the extra repairs! Possibly too many cars on the roads? Or is it just me?

Crazy Cars III is fandabbydosey. It's the best in the series (hardly a revelation) and hasn't lost any of its excitement - it's a thrill. Also, I love the freedom to enhance, gamble, the different locations, and the rush of being chased by the cops (who are relentless). Is this better than Lotus II? Possibly, and that is an enticing thought. So, set aside a couple of hours over the weekend for you and the kids. You won't regret playing this need for speedster!!

Download the floppy disc via Stonish


  1. Thanks for this new review mate. Having loved the 2 first episodes on Amstrad cpc, the final episode is the most achieved. The map seems huge (America) and the management aspect very important. Technically it looks very good too. Titus released very good games.

    1. Thanks man, I appreciate you coming here AND commenting :) Have a great weekend.

  2. An absolute classic for me, it's right up there together with other excellent racing games like Lotus.

    1. I agree, Lotus 2 was (for me) just excellent. Cheers for stopping by!