After a long wait, the sequel to Supercars has finally arrived. Created by Magnetic Fields, the people responsible for the superb Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge, the game has been given a vast array of enhancements, including the addition of the much needed two player, split-screen mode.
Supercars 2 is basically an overhead racing game loosely based on Super Sprint. The only major difference is that the actual race track is larger than the screen, so the track scrolls in all directions as you progress. Your aim as the driver of the red car (or the green car in the two player mode) is to finish the race in one of the top five positions, preferably first. Fail to achieve this and you'll be thrown out of the championship and have to start from scratch on track one. Instead of just three cars, you must now take on 10 computer controlled cars. Being a good driver is not the only skill required to win a race. Various weapons are available and can be used to bring a spectacular halt to your fellow competitors.
Front and rear missiles, although unguided, will take out any car that happens to cross their path. For sheer accuracy and devastation though, the homing missile is ideal. It will follow the course of the track until it meets a car and explode on impact. Other weapons include the super missile which rotates around your car and destroys any vehicle that has moved too close and there's also the land mine which is useful for removing any cars to your rear. All the weapons can be purchased from the trade screen which also sells armour, an engine turbo and a turbo boost that sends your car soaring into the air to pass over any leading cars.
There are three levels of difficulty, each made up of seven tracks. The tracks have been greatly improved and now contain jumps, tunnels, bridges, opening and closing doors and cross-overs. The type of circuit, either snow, grass or rocks and heather, will affect the handling of the car. You will also come across such obstacles as water, oil, stones and even a train.
Throughout the game damage to the car is inflicted by either colliding with other vehicles or hitting the trackside. Too much damage will write off the car and the game will end. Between each track you may be required to give an interview to one of the following: Transport inspector, solicitor, the police, health officer, your sponsor or even a journalist. Each person will ask you a series of questions which must be answered. A good interview will pay money or boost your championship points, while a bad interview will do the opposite.
The game is controlled by joystick or in two player mode a choice between joystick and keyboard. Two alternative control methods are available and need to be decided before a game commences. The first option uses the joystick button as the accelerator, whereas the alternative method is to use the button as the brake, with the car accelerating automatically. Left and right on the joystick spins the car accordingly. Pushing forward or pulling back will release any armed weapons.
Plenty of sound FX complement the game throughout. Tear round a corner too fast and your tyres will screech, hit another car and you'll hear a lifelike crunch. The tone of the engine is also affected depending on the gradient of the hill and the road surface.
In two player mode the screen is split vertically down the middle and each screen updates irrespective of where your opponent is placed. When two cars meet, they are both displayed on the same screen and the head to head battle begins.
An arcade racing game, similar to Skidmarks, Micro Machines or Wheelspin. Simple graphics but quite good gameplay with fast scroll speed. The game also features a split screen two player mode. Unfortunately the loading speed is extreme slow. You have to wait a minute even with Turbo floppy speed feature of the emulator.
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