The nice thing about race games like Crazy Cars is that you can sit down and play them immediately, often without even referring to a manual, because they use an age-old concept; one that is easy to relate to and understand. We all know what to expect from a game of this genre, don't we? Push forward to accelerate, steer left and right to avoid other cars and pull back when you want to stop, right? Wrong. For, as you may well remember. Crazy Cars II tested your map-reading skills as well as your driving, and now Crazy Cars III goes into even more depth. Take several desperate and reckless drivers with powerful cars, a perfectly innocent public-road system and some transport police, and you'll have some idea of what a typical Crazy race involves.
The first thing you notice when you begin driving in Crazy Cars III is that the game generates a good feeling of distance between you and the cars ahead. Far along the road in front of you, dwindling tail-lights of the leading cars appear and disappear quite realistically on the horizon; an effect which was not carried off as effectively in Lotus Turbo Challenge II.
Get it loose
Different weather conditions also have a greater bearing upon the game than in Lotus, with each climate producing its own car-handling characteristics as well as a change of scenery. Weather conditions are sometimes generated randomly, so it is possible to have snow falling upon the cacti as you drive along desert roads.
Different towns also have different scenery and who is to say whether or not you will race at night or in the daylight hours? A large range of scenic views is to be found within this game, each one of them well-drawn and moving past very swiftly... now I want a real Lamborghini!
Cash, as well as climate, is important. Prize money for finishing in pole position is double the race entry fee, but for finishing third you make a 50 per cent loss. So winning the race outright is practically the only way to make a profit. The only alternative is to wager other competitors in your race that you will finish before them. Unfortunately your opponents are very good - you have been warned!
Money won at a race can be used to improve your car through the purchase of various add-ons, which is a welcome feature. The hardware store sells new and faster gearboxes, wet-weather tyres and super brakes, which are all ludicrously priced but improve your car's performance greatly. The most expensive item is, surprisingly enough, the good old nitro fuel costing an incredible $50,000. For your hard-earned money you get 10 seconds of rocket-powered mayhem, which increases the car's speed by about a third. This has the effect of practically turning it into a low-dying aircraft, so I suppose we must grudgingly accept that the race is more interesting when nitro is only used rarely.
It's a fair cop - even in America. Police are to be found patrolling the highways, giving you even more hassle. Apart from the patrol cars which chase you when you accidentally (or otherwise) hit someone, there are also radar-operated camera speed traps along the road.
Police wielding hand-held speed-detectors also give chase frequently. They are excruciatingly annoying, but give the game much more flavour. And, as they try to ram you off the road (because you've been, er... ramming other people off the road), the game bears a very strong resemblance to Chase HQ (your car even becomes labelled with a huge arrow saying 'Offender" on it). Nb: a sneaky trick to play when the cops are around is to shunt an opponent into a police car, thus turning him into an offender.
All-in-all, Crazy Cars III has amazing durability because it keeps on changing, the races run smoothly and quickly, and terrain is presented really well. From the word go, you have a challenge on your hands. It is certainly much harder than the recent Lotus and Jaguar race-games, but in the long run this just means that you'll carry on playing.
Drive across the USA, collect money, complete the tracks and avoid the cops. You start with a simple, ordinary Lamborgini :) and with 6000$. This is the last episode of the Crazy Car series, and features the finest graphics. The gameplay is similar to Chase HQ.
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