Copyright/Publisher: Codemasters, Program, Graphics, Sound FX:
Ashley Routledge & David Saunders,
Music By: Allister Brimble,
Release Year: 1992, Genre: Formula One, Number Of Players: 1 or 2
At last, thought PHIL 'GREASY QUIFF' KING, a Brylcrean computer game! But before he could
slick back his strands, he was left in a cloud of smoke on the starting grid.
As if I haven't done enough racing this month...No! No! No! I'm not doing it for less
than 23 million dollars! What? That Brazilian chappi I'll do it for free? Oh well, all
Let's take a good look at this little motor's spec's. Hmmm, looks pretty slick to me:
multidirectionally scrolling overhead view, Grand Prix season over six international
circuits, practice mode, qualifying laps, two-player racing... but how does it go?
The solo games is incredibly compulsive. Climbing into your Benettion car, wait for the
red starting lights turn green, push your pedal to the metal (or rater, finger to the
fire button) and away you go.
And very nippy your car is too, as you rotate it left/right to get bound the smooth-scrolling
track. Go too far round a corner and you drift wide - going on the grass slows you down;
hit the tyre wall and your car spins off permanently. This isn't too bad in qualification
- you just start the back of the grid - but in a race it means an automatic last place.
Doing well in races earms you Championship points, but you'd have a hard job winning anything
in your Benetton. This is where the innovative challenge feature comes in. Before a race
you can challenge any of the other five drivers. If you then beat that driver (whose car
flashes continually) in the race, you swap cars with him.
Beating a higher-powered car takes some doing. Your opponent will have more speed on the
straights, so time must be made uo with efficient cornering. Excitement is added by the way
you can usually bump your opponent on the starting grid, zoom way ahead, with him eventually
using superior speed to catch you near the end of the race. You then need to do lots of
defensive swerving and barging to stop him getting past.
Sometimes, drivers in worse cars will challenge you. As long as you don't crash, you should
be all right - the main nuisance is that they prevent you from challenging anyone else.
Winning the World Championship certainly takes some doing, as our Nige knows, but if
you do well one year you start the next with your current car. So even if you've no chance
of winning this season, there's always something to keep playing for.
The two-player game is a real bonus, based on the one in Codies' Micro Machines on the
Nintendo. It's straight two-car duel with the drivers trying to get far enough ahead to
scroll the other car off the screen, Hot Rod style. This removes one of the loser's lights
and adds it to the winner's. This driving 'tug of war' is great fun, a real yo-yo battle
of wills and skills that can go on for ages.
At first sight, Slicks looks old hat, but under the bonnet lurks a demon of a motor.
yes, we've all seen this style of game umpteen times before (as proved in my racing feature)
but rarely has it been done quite so slickly (ho ho), with great trackside graphics (boats in
the harbour at Monaco etc) and neat presentation screens.
It's a shame there aren't more circuits to race on, and I reckon the multiload (for three
tracks at a time) could have been avoided. Nevertheless, Slicks plays extremely well in
both one- and two-player modes. Better value than a used Metro, guv (anyone wanna buy mine?).
Excuse me while I kick this handy filing cabinet (several seconds of swearing and loud
challenging sounds follow). That's better, I've now rid myself of all the aggression caused
by playing Slicks. I know, I know, I normally love this game type, but there are two
things that annoy me immensely here.
The first is the narrowness of the tracks; there's barely enough room to swing a
metaphorical cat. The second is, why didn't the programmer provide pointers to show where
(and when) a bend appears? The tracks are tortuous enough without the player having to
possess telepathic powers!
I suppose after a few games you do begin to learn the layouts of the different tracks,
although this doesn't completely excuse the oversight. Graphically Slicks is competent -
colourful backgrounds and small, neatly drawn sprites complement each other. Control of
the car is tricky at first, especially considering the handicaps I pointed out earlier.
But I reckon Slicks is just about worthy of consideration, especially as Phil loves it.