Copyright/Publisher: Leisure Genius, Conceived & Produced by: Andrew Bradley,
Release Year: 1985, Genre: Formula One, Number Of Players: 1 or 2
Scalextric is a one or two player racing simulation based around the toy set of
the same name.
The screen is split into two halves, each half being a screen in its own right
which shows the a view from one of the cars. Therefore if player two is behind
player one then he'll see player one's car in from of him. If he overtakes player
one then player one sees player two overtake him and roar into the distance.
Underneatch the two main displays are two boxes which show each player's status.
Each box contains a map of the course being raced, showing where the player is
on the map, as well as displaying the speed of the car, lap time and lap number.
Every time you load up the game you have to go through a number of options before
starting to race. First you are asked to input your name and the second player's
name. If you don't have a fellow player then the computer will supply one
(usually called Lauda, Tambay, Piquet or Brundle)!
You can then select the skill
level of the computer from three settings. This determines the speed the computer
car takes corners (on level three it's just about impossible to keep up with it
since it takes all corners at about 200mph!).
Once you've decided who is racing, it's time to select a venue. The computer
aks whether you want to design a track or load one you've designed previously. If you
don't want to race on a custom-made track, then the computer displays a series
of preset tracks (all models of real life courses such as Silverstone, and Rio).
When you've selected one of these and decided the number of laps to be run,
then you can start racing. If you select the track designing option, the screen
clears and a box containing 16 different sections of track appears above the
You are asked to locate the start/finish section which you do by moving a little
cursor to the required position and pressing the fire button. Once you've done
that then all you have to do is select the different sections of track and the
computer assembles them for you.
Some pretty neat courses can be constructed since there are heaps of different
corners, chicanes and straights. The process of building a course is a lot faster
than with Racing Destruction Set, and it's possible to construct a race-worthy
course within a few minutes.
The actual racing is the best part of the game. Unlike Pitstop II you don't have
to worry about tyre wear, fuel consumption or other cars - all you've got to do
is stay on the track and get round it faster than the opposition. The controls
are pretty simple, psuh the joystick forward to accelerate (to a max of 240mph),
back to brake and left/right to steer the car round corners.
If you take a corner
too fast then you'll skid to the opposite kerb and slow right down until you can
regain control of the car again. The car is virtually indestructible so you don't
have to worry about blowing up if you treat it roughly, although if you do take
things too fast you'll lose precious seconds when you start to hit the kerbs.
Careful driving IS in order - especially through chicanes!
Amazing how the computer version of slotting bits of plastic track together and
racing model cars is merely a Pitstop II copy. The only real difference is the
screen designer, in which you can make up a track pretty much the way you would
with the real thing.
The screen designer is very good but the racing game itself
is extremely poor. It lacks all the smoothness and polish of Pitstop II, while
trying desperately to achieve the same effect. The sound effects were very good,
particularly the car engine effects, but I'm afraid it doesn't redeem the game
Leisure Genius have released.
Leisure Genius have taken quite a gamble in releasing a race game, especially
with the well established Pitstop II as competition. There are some similarities
to the aforementioned classic, such as the split screen display but otherwise
Scalextric is a good ol' fashioned racing game.
The track designer is the most innovative feature, allowing you to design and
race your very own circuits. Despite having relatively few links with the toy set
of the same name, Scalextric is in fact a cut above most race games and is one I
would recommend to fanatics of the genre.
I think people could well be put off by this game because of its great similarity
to Pitstop II. If that does happen then it would be a shame since Scalextric
does have some really nice features. The track designer, for example, has
different types of chicanes and numerous bends which can be used to build some
really brilliant tracks.
The graphics and playability aren't as good as the standards set by Pitstop II,
but the corners do work well, unlike those in Pitstop II. I don't why Leisure Genius
thought they needed to buy the rights to Scalextric to market a game like this -
as a race game it stands up well on its own.
In fact the title makes it all seem a little silly because the game doesn't
have any real elements of slot car racing. I'm sure Leisure Genius could have
produced something more like a slot car racing game if they'd thought about it.
If you are a racing game nut then take a look at this - it isn't bad, but by no
means is it a classic.