The famous Indianapolis 500 Mile race, held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the Memorial Day weekend, is one of the most famous automobile racing events in North America. The event is simulated here using 3D polygon graphics to recreate the 33 cars in the race. Players are able to choose their car and customize it with a variety of options. Modifications include wing down-force, tire pressures, wheel stagger (making the right-side wheels larger, to compensate for the banked corners) and turbo output (which provides boost, but stresses the engine and uses more fuel).
After qualifying (by performing during four laps and taking the average) players can race over 10, 30, 60 or the full 200 laps. Lower modes remove car damage and the 'full-course yellow' system, the absence of these can make for repeat carnage including traffic collisions and huge pile-ups.
All "righty" then, here's one of the first "real" racing game I ever played. I remember playing it with some friends, in some strange "multi-player mode" we invented back there (ok, you can use it if you want, we haven't registered any "patent" on that :p ) which consisted just in this simple rule: "What?! You just crashed? Then get out of there and give your sit to the next guy"... Yes, yes, I know... It wasn't very fair for the "not so good playing driving games", but that method also prevented someone to turn in to a "wise-guy" and start making the race in the opposite direction to collide with the other cars and eliminating them in order to finish the race in first place - which isn't difficult if you race alone :p - but of course, the most important was that we had lots of fun.
Now, I just said that this game was one of the first "real" racing games, so I better explain why. That's just because, at least from what I remember, this was one of the first games to allow the player to customize the car in a very realistic way. And almost everything that is important in a racing car can be adjustable, from the "wings" to the gearbox settings. This makes the behaviour of the car during the race or the qualifying phase to be completely different according to the adjustments made.
And it's time to talk a little more about the game. There are three racing modes:
1) "Practice", which allows not only to practice, but also to set up the car;
2) "Qualify", where the player has to complete four laps and qualifying time will be obtained from the average time on these laps;
3) "Race", where the real race begins; inside this last one there are another four options:
i) 10 laps race, without yellow flags and the player's car is "indestructible"
ii) 30 laps race, being the player's car is "indestructible"
iii) 60 laps race, and here everything goes as the player's car is no longer "indestructible"
iv) 200 laps race, like the real race.
About the cars, there are three models available to be chosen, having each one of them its own default settings, and they are: the "March/Cosworth", the "Lola/Buick" and the famous "Penske/Chevrolet". At first sight, the first one appears to be the "slower" one but easier to control and the third the "fastest" one and the less manoeuvrable, but I assure you that with the correct adjustments the first one can be as fast - or even fastest - than the third one...
It is also possible to watch a small clip of the race, which can be seen in a wide range of options, from the view "inside the car" to the following the race "on TV" view.
This game can be a very realistic simulation of the real "Indianapolis" race, which occurs since 1911 at the "Memorial Day" (May 30th) in the very well know track, the "Indianapolis Motor Speedway" and one of the racing modes in the game has exactly the same 200 laps of the real race - which are equivalent to the 500 miles (804,672 km).
The VGA graphics are pretty nice, and so are the sound effects - remember, this game is from 1989. I don't know if it is possible to use another type of control apart from the keyboard - I noticed my "Force Feedback driving wheel" works to steer the car, but the gas/brake pedals don't, so I had to use the keyboard to do that (and of course, the Force Feedback doesn't work either :p ). As for the keyboard, the arrow keys are used to control the car. Setting up the car can be done by using the keys from "F3" to "F10" to choose which parameters to adjust and the keys "," and "." to change the settings. Where there is more than one equipment to adjust, the "Spacebar" will switch among them.
Well, and I think that's enough talking as I'm pretty sure you all want to try this game, and it is so easy to do it: just click the "Get It" button to download it and do it - I assure you this game can keep you entertained for quiet some time. Have a nice "racing"!
It might be because I do not like the idea of driving around in circles but I do not like this game. It is done pretty well. It runs smooth, is very hard but it's plain boring. There might be some Indy racing fans out there that might like it but I always preferred and I always will prefer Formula 1 racing.
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