Tour De France
Copyright/Publisher: Activision, Programmed By: Ivān Balāzs,
Animation By: Pāl Balog,
Structure By: Gyula Valovics,
Graphics By: Seke, Music By: Zoltan Mericske,
Release Year: 1985, Genre: Cycle Sports, Number Of Players: 1
There's a new approach to racing with the latest release from Activision. Tour De France
is a cycling game (could it be anything else one asks?) and it challenges you and up to
seven other players to complete and gain record times in what must be one of the world's
most gruelling cycling races.
When you first start the game you are asked to select the number of players and input
their name and country. Once that is done you can select the sort of race you'd like to
Firstly there is the single stage race where you can select one stage of the race and
try it. This is a good option if you want to practise a certain run or don't want to have
to bomb all the way around France.
The other option is the Tour De France itself, this is the proper race taking you all the
way round France in a series of stages. Once this option has been selected it's out and out
cycling to try to break those record times.
When you race you'll find that you're in fact the only rider, a bit of pain if there are
eight of you racing because you each have to wait your turn.
Control of the bike is like a rather leisurely Decathlon, just move the joystick left
and right to speed him up. Once you've reached a good speed it is possible to coast along,
only needing to waggle the joystick occasionally.
Steering isn't so hard either, it just
takes a little while to get used to it. To move left or right round a bend you have to
keep your finger on the fire button and then move the joystick in the appropriate direction.
This casues the bike to rotate Asteroids style. There are also gears on your bike - tapping
up or down will put you in either high or low gear and these have to be used when going up
and down the many hills.
The scenery is particularly good, although the roads are a bit thin (when you start
going really fast you'll find yourself going off the road and crashing). The landscape
contains all sorts of buildins, loads of people, advertising hoardings and of course the
twisting road with lots of hills and corners, there are signs along the way to warn
you of approaching hills but none to give warning about the corners though.
The screen scrolls along with your bike in all eight directions making the game look
really good to play. After the race or practice you can have a look at the score tables
to see how well you've all done.
Also, as you're racing you're given your time up on screen which changes colour so
you can gauge how well you're doing.
I was beginning to to hope that these joystick waggling games had been given up for good,
alas this is not to be. I dare say that having acquired something of a hatred for these type
of games my opinions on it will not be well founded.
Just confound you let me tell you what I liked. The music was OK, not that I am partial
to having renditions of the French National Anthem rammed down my ears while I am asked to
make team selections. The music that plays in the background of the game is reasonable, if
a little strange.
Well the crowd certainly seem to like it they all seem to be dancing to it. The general
appearance of the game is helped by the high quality of the graphics and scrolling.
My dislike? Well, just the game itself - there simply isn't enough to hold my
I found the whole thing somewaht less then convincing, even after I had become
quite adept at steering the dude round the seemingly endless roads he still managed to
look like a drunken onion seller.
When I first saw this I was very impressed - the graphics and scrolling routines are really
superb. Whizzing along Decathlon style was great, the only trouble is that I was the only
contender. There's no head-to-head option, you have to race one after the other if you want
a multi-player game and the scores are registered afterwards.
Setting the game up takes yonks and I suspect that this was originally a disk game. These
quibbles aside the game is great fun to play, with lots of separate courses to bomb around.
Control is a bit tricky, but easy to master and after a while you'll find yourself hoofing
round France as fast as your legs will go.
The music is really fitting to the game and adds
to the 'must go faster' qualities. I thoroughly enjoyed playing it and the time targets
will take a while to beat.
Tour De France isn't really much more than just another joystick waggling sports game,
but with a new twist in that you cycle round France. The backgrounds are superbly detailed
and they scroll wonderfully.
There is agreat feal of attention to detail on both cyclist and
shadow, matching that of the backgrounds which gives the whole thing a very realistic and
The music played constantly throughour the game is very good and drives
you on effectively as you play. Problem is the game is quite repetitive with all the
waggling required and it does becomes monotonous to play after a while.