Based on sportscar and Paris-Dakar racer René Metge and his Porsche 944 Turbo, Turbo Cup is a racing game viewed from above and behind the car, in a forced perspective. Instead of the sand of the Dakar race, the game features four conventional French racetracks - Paul Ricard, Nogaro, Magny-Cours and Dijon-Prenois.
After completing a qualifying lap you race against 21 similar cars. Contact with cars from behind causes you to spin but does not affect your rival, although side-on contact is usually beneficial. There are hazards off the track to avoid, and hitting the grass at speed causes a spin.
Loriciels is a company that usually brought forward easy fun games of various quality. Among their best known games is definitely the Lode Runner and personally I'd put this very game among their worse and I am definitely not the one to judge the game simply by the graphics (for this game has quite good graphics even though it's only a 4 color CGA game).
There's not really much to the game. There are four courses you can run and you need to qualify and then race. You have only one qualifying lap and two race laps per each race and you need to finish the course as fast as possible.
The courses are very famous (Magni-Cours, Dijon-Prenois, Nogaro and Paul Ricard), but if there wouldn't be a name of the course written in the top right corner of the screen, you couldn't tell one course from another (unless you'd spend countless hours behind this game). The backgrounds all consist of a distant city and you get to see different but not really noticeable buildings as you turn. Depending on how much you see of the distant city, you'll know weather you're going up or down hill.
On each side of the road there are purple and gray stripes indicating the off road part of the screen. There's where the signs (indicating turns) will show up and occasionally a house or stairs with spectators seated on them. You'll also get the idea of the terrain you're driving on by the lines. If there are none, the road appears to be more slippery, so I guess that would mean no more asphalt (but I can't be sure). Apart from the surrounding graphics you'll get your own car in the blues and opponent's cars in purple (while racing, not during qualifying).
The sounds (apart from the opening tune, which is quite impressive) consist of nothing more than the noises your engine is making.
But the real essence of any game is the gameplay and this is where this game really starts loosing its ground (because thus far everything seemed quite solid).
The way the car reacts is strange to say the least. It doesn't race in the arcade style, but tries to add some life like physics to the behavior of the car. This is shown by the spinning whenever you hit the curve too fast. And here's the problem. You can't really see how fast you should drive through a certain turn and if you try to break during it, turn just a bit more or even accelerate, you are very likely to end up on the side of the road loosing time. Even worse is with opponents, who never seem to spin, but if you even remotely touch them (they remain unharmed off course) your car will turn in flames and you'll loose valuable time (and places).
The only thing you should therefore do to master this game is get the corners memorized and drive to them in the unnatural way this car behaves. And if you really do that, you'll see the game is extremely short! I definitely do not recommend it. If you want a good Loriciel's racing game try Space Racer instead!
Oldie arcade-style racing game by Loriciel. Features four different tracks to race on. Very nice for its time with good smooth graphics - for CGA standards. Similar to Broderbund's SuperBike Challenge, but with less emphasis on realism and longevity. Smooth graphics and intuitive controls make this one of Loriciel's best classic games. Highly recommended, especially to fans of arcade-oriented racing games.
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