Wheels
Copyright/Publisher By: Loadstar/Softdisk Publishing, Inc., Programmed By:
Scott Elder, Genre: Racing Sports, Release Year: 1991, Number Of Players: 1

INSTRUCTIONS

Scott is our premier graphics gamer, as you know if you've been prowling LOADSTAR for the past couple of years. He's tackled motorcycles, lava pits and asteroids so far, and this time he puts you behind the wheel of a high-tech nitrous-sniffing drag racer. You'll need a supple wrist and a quick thumb if you want the joystick in Port #2 to get you to the finish line in record time.

At the title screen you can choose which type of car you want to race. Just move the joystick right or left and press the firebutton when the one you want is on the screen.

There are eight different tracks to race on as well as a quarter-mile drag race and a World Series event that has you racing on class tracks around the globe. You can choose whether you want a short race (2 laps), a medium one (4 laps), or a grueling one (6 laps). All of these choices are available at the screen right after the title screen. Just use the joystick to make your choices.

On the same screen are the best times for each of the three lap modes. They start out at 9:99:99 when you first boot the game so you should have no trouble getting your score on the scoreboard with your first race. Keeping it there is another matter.

So choose a track and press the button. You'll find yourself in a spiffy vehicle (one that I wish I'd been able to use in ROUTE 66) with feet on the pedals and hands on the gear shifter and wheel. In this game you can actually see yourself shift. The two blue dials are the tachometer and speedometer. The orange dial is the nitrous supply. You use it to give yourself a boost in speed while accelerating. Once it's gone, it's gone. You must let off of the nitrous when you are in the act of shifting.

Pressing RUN/STOP-RESTORE will take you back to the title screen at any time. There's no way to actually quit the game. You should reset your computer or power down.

Driving the car is as you would expect.

LEFT - go left
RIGHT - go right
FORWARD - accelerate
BACK - brake
BUTTON - inject a little nitrous.

In the Drag Race, you're racing against one other racer, but in the other events there are many other cars and they all seem to be incredibly rude roadhogs. Haven't they ever heard of "slower traffic keep right"?

In the World Series mode, you start out in Brazil and must qualify in the top three scores to move to the next track in Spain. I don't know where the track after that is. My car broke down during the race and now I'm stuck in a rat-infested pension in Barcelona living on stale taco chips and warm tokay. Maybe I should have kept some of the nitrous so I'd at least have that.

Scott has added a lot of realism to the game. The sound is as grotesque as any you'll ever hear at a real racetrack and when you bump other cars to let you get by, you'll actually dent up the front of your car. There's no telling what will happen when your hood gets too mangled.

I'd like to be able to give you a bunch of racing tips but I've never owned anything faster than a '68 VW Squareback. You'll have to learn the quirks of the car and track yourself. Scott Elder has done his usual great programming job and I am looking forward to his next arcade masterpiece.


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