- Machine: Nintendo
- Theme: Arcade
The empire strikes back. The Atari empire, that is. Not content with having produced Hard Drivin' - the finest race-car simulation in the universe - Atari Games has released Race Drivin', a sequel that blows the doors off the original.
Race Drivin' offers four tracks to choose from: the original Stunt and Speed Tracks, plus two completely new courses, the Autocross and the Super Stunt Track. You also have your choice of four cars: the two Sportster models from Hard Drivin'; a snazzy top-down Roadster, whose handling outperforms its horsepower; and the Speedster, an all-out neck-snapper. Only the Sportster is available with an automatic transmission, but trust me, you'll want the manual trans.
The Autocross is a deceptively simple course. Although it's basically a D-shaped track, it has so many little twists and turns that you'll rarely get out of second gear.
After your first lap, you'll face an interesting new opponent: an image of yourself (rendered in wireframe graphics) that duplicates your previous best lap. A dusty-brown desert landscape gives this track a suitably gritty appeal.
The Super Stunt Track is where Race Drivin' really shines. Twice as long as the original Stunt Track and twice as difficult, the Super Stunt Track is a wild roller-coaster ride with you at the controls. You'll find yourself spending almost as much time in the air as on the road. After zooming up and down a steep mountainside (watch out for those cows!), you'll pass a roadside diner, which is where the fun really starts. A huge vertical loop followed by two corkscrew loops lead to a hill that's practically 90 degrees straight up!
Watch your speed on the way down, because at the bottom of this monster is a sharp turn leading into a tunnel. And inside the tunnel is a still-smoking car-truck-train wreck. Experienced S.T.U.N. Runner players will know how to avoid this mess by driving on the tunnel wall.
Other amazing options in Race Drivin' let you first race a computer-controlled car, then race yourself in the computer's car. And by linking together a pair of Race Drivin' cabinets, you can compete against another human.
It just doesn't get any better than this - not yet, anyway.