This is the third game in the Super Cars series of top-down view, arcade racing games from Magnetic Fields. As always, there is also a management portion available in the game (which is optional).
The game is basically a re-make of Super Cars II, with added elements, tweaked gameplay, updated 256-color VGA graphics and a new soundtrack.
The game lets you compete in three built-in seasons (easy, medium, hard) but also lets you customize your own seasons. All the 21 tracks seems to have been lifted from the previous title, but here you can choose the amount of laps and also race them in reverse.
If you are running a season using the "full" option, which means including the management portion, you have to buy your own cars to race with. This is done at a car dealer between each race, using a mini-game with different chat options to try to bring down the price. Each new car can carry more weapons and armor, and is also faster.
Weapons and armor can also be purchased between each race, as well as repairing any damage you have sustained. Prices vary between races, so there is a chance to gain money by using the weapons as commodities and trading with them. Some weapons have changed from the last game, and you now also have a button to select which weapon to fire while racing.
In addition several special events with similar mini-games as with the car dealer will appear between each race in the management mode (and there are several new events compared to the last game).
The core of the game, the race itself, takes place on various road courses with tunnels, jumps, railway crossings and gates that open and close. Though the game is an arcade racer, the cars behave somewhat realistically, with power-slides in corners and spin-outs when crashing (which is new to this game). All cars also leave skid marks and craters when they explode, which means that the track looks quite battle worn at the end of a race.
In addition to racing against the computer players, you can also race against a friend using a split screen mode.
Supercars is a fun top-down racing game stylistically reminiscent of - and probably influenced by - Super Sprint series. Designed by a talented group of programmers who later produced the Lotus series of games (only the last of which was released for PC), Supercars "... is set in a pseudo-fantasy world with fictitious cars battling for championship supremacy on a spine chilling and perilous circuit in the middle of a desert viewed from overhead. Each track consists of tortuous turns, straights, tunnels and bends which become progressively more perilous as you speed your way through the levels. Other hazards include mud, water and oil which have a variety of effects on the speeding cars. As you progress through the game, the number of opponents you race against and the on-track hazards increase at an alarming and unnerving rate.." (from the manual).
There are 9 tracks in the game which can be raced in any order (although I find the last one much more difficult than the rest, so you should race them in order anyway ;)). Money you win from the races can be spent on the usual car upgrades, such as steering and turbos, as well as front and rear missiles you can use to destroy opponents' car (which will leave a big pileup for other cars - and yourself on your next lap). The scores you earn from each race are cumulative - they determine your overall championship standing against computer-controlled drivers.
The game boasts decent graphics, fun gameplay, and semi-realism (you can apply the 'hand brake' for example during fast turns, and scids have a real impact on the cars. One interesting idea is the trivia section between races, in which you must answer questions to win championship points and money. Wrong answers can cost you either or both. All in all, a highly underrated game that was much better known on the Amiga. Recommended!
People who downloaded Supercars have also downloaded:
Super Cars 2, Test Drive II: The Collection, Street Racer, Speedball 2, SuperKarts, Road Rash, TOCA 2 Touring Cars (a.k.a. Touring Car Challenge), Stunt Driver
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