Copyright/Publisher: Accolade, Created By: Distinctive Software Inc., Design &
Don Mattrick, Mike Benna, Bruce Dawson, Brad Gour, Kevin Pickell,
Amory Wong & Rick Friesen,
Art By: John Boechler & Tony Lee, Sound & Music By:
Release Year: 1987, Genre: Racing Sports, Number Of Players: 1
For those who'd like to spend the afternoon cruising around in a sports car, but
can't afford the rental, Test Drive provides the chance of getting behind the
wheel of one of five classic marques.
Initial selections are made from a Porsche 911 Turbo, Lamborghini Countach, Ferrari
Testarossa, Chevrolet Corvette or Lotus Esprit Turbo. The chosen vehicle then
appears on a two-lane road, which is viewed in first person 3D.
The objective is to survive long enough to reach the top of 'The Rock' -
a hazardous winding roadway set between a perilous cliff edge and an unforgiving
HGVs, rival sports cars, potholes and water slicks all conspire against the
driver, together with the local Highway Patrolman, who penalises breakers of the
speed limit. Warning of his impending appearance is given by an in-car radar alert.
Hitting either the mountainside or the cliff edge results in a 'write-off',
and only five cars are provided to reach the summit. Each level is completed by
reaching the next gas station, where the player receives a full tank of petrol
and a comment on his performance from the local pump attendant, detailing time,
score, and his personal opinion of both.
When the game ends, there's an option to replay the course with the same car, or
start again with another.
Electronic Art's sports car simulation is certainly different, but unfortunately
as a 'simulator' it fails on several counts: the interior graphics are very smart,
but the exterior views are slow to update and do little to create a realistic
The course never alters from the initial blue sky/brown cliff view, and finally
control of the cars is awful: they're all unresponsive and unrealistic to 'drive'.
Cassette users should also beware the load time, which is terribly long, taking
around 15 minutes to set up a game.
A noble attempt, but I can't recommend Test Drive, simply because I don't think
that you'll be playing it past the end of the first week of purchase.
Although lacking in a few departments, Test Drive does prove quite appealing.
The on-screen presentation could have been a lot better, particularly the
dashboard which is a bit bland, but the initial choice of five cars is great.
In practice, however, the cars aren't particularly varied in control or design.
The screen isn't very quick to update, when compared to games like Buggy Boy for
instance, nor does it have the same addictive qualities - mainly due to the poor
controls and lack of variety. Test Drive it first.
The idea of being able to drive one of five amazing sports cars is great, but
unfortunately Test Drive falls short of its potential in many fields. The graphics
are very bland indeed, and there's little detail on the road or mountainside.
Movement is jerky, and other cars and trucks are very blocky and completely
destroy any sense of realism. The control method is poor and the difference between
cars is hardly noticable.
Once you've completed a level, there's little to draw you back, as sub-sequent
levels merely offer heavier road traffic. The last nail in the coffin is the incredibly
Not only does it take ages to set a game up, but if you want to change cars,
you have to reload the entire program! Test Drive could have been special, but
unfortunately Electronic Arts have missed the mark completely.