ZX Spectrum Games

ZX Spectrum Games

27 Aug 2009

ZX Spectrum Games - Formula One Simulator - ZX Spectrum retro game


ZX Spectrum Formula One Simulator
Ahh now this one takes me back (but necessarily in a good way!).

I had the Mastertronic version for the ZX Spectrum - and thought it would be comparable to Chequered Flag by Melbourne House. Not quite. Time to review another classic game turkey...

This computer game was first released for the ZX Spectrum in 1984 (overpriced at a whopping £8.95!) by Spirit Software (who went on to manufacture the Spirit Steering Wheel and taking orders for it before going bust) before being snapped up by Mastertronic and re-released in their budget £1.99 range.

ZX Spectrum Games Formula One Simulator
Not A Bad Loading Screen I Suppose
It should be noted that the original version (published by Spirit) came bundled with the steering wheel which was actually just a yellow plastic circle - a bit like a lid from a small tin! Even at the time it was laughable...

So - Mastertronic named it 'Formula One Simulator' - and even as a budget game it was a bit of a non-starter.

One side of the tape had the 16K Spectrum version, the other the 48K Spectrum version. The fact that a 16K version of a 3D racing simulator was present should have set the crapness alarm bells ringing.

Anyway, according to the instructions, the game was 'based on formula one levels of acceleration, braking and road holding'. Apparently the program had been developed for the ultimate in realism. Ahem.

The 48K version gave you a total of ten tracks to race around which were:
Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Monaco, Hockenheim, Osterreichring,Kyalmi, Zolder, Paul Richard, Monza and Zandvoort.

The view of the game was the traditional 'cockpit view', looking forwards as you were seated in the powerful car. Your drivers hands could even be seen as they gripped the steering wheel in grim determination.

Once you had chosen a track you could either practice a circuit or go straight to qualifying. Your qualifying time would determine where you would begin in the following race.

As soon as you started driving you knew something just wasn't right. The left and right controls were pretty sluggish and when you turned either left or right you 'hands' (and steering wheel) didn't actually move - but you did expect them to! Due to this there was no feeling of steering at all. With barely any roadside features to see - the driving effect was pretty sparse.

Mastertronic (unwittingly hilariously) included this little gem in the instructions:

'Steering wheel - Use a sellotape tin or similar object, about 4 1/2" indiameter and 1" deep, hold it at the top and position it at the centre of top row of keys so that it nestles against the ridge at the back. Roll it to theleft or right with moderate pressure to steer. To begin with, a rocking motion on the wheel may help get the feel of the car.' - Priceless!

Check out the menu options (option 6 is where it's at!) in this not-so-classic arcade game:

ZX Spectrum Games Formula One Menu ScreenPlease - if anyone tried this, you've got to let us know!

Formula One awesomeness:

A white knuckle ride... Formula One SimulatorPlease see our other (more in depth!) ZX Spectrum game reviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys.

If you want a laugh download this for a Spectrum emulator - you may even be able to play this online. Get the real hardware and a tin lid for the ultimate in realism!

GENRE: Arcade Game (Driving Simulator)
RELEASE DATE: 1984
RELEASED BY: Spirit Software then Mastertronic
DEVELOPER(S): S C Stephens
PRICE: Originally a crazy £8.95 then a more realistic £1.99 by Mastertronic

A succesfull qualifying lap in this not so good arcade game:
video

Pure arcade game action - it's a short lived race...
video

Classic Games, Arcade Games and ZX Spectrum Games

5 comments:

Andy Thomas said...

What are you talking about? This game looks great!

But then again, I thought the "Games 1" compilation cassette was awesome. :)

The Retro Brothers said...

Hey Andy!
We can assure you that it's far from great! The plastic 'steering wheel' really was the tin hat on this one.

Melbourne House's Chequered Flag was a far better bet.

Thanks for the comments!

Graeme Mason said...

I remember buying this for £1.99, can't believe they originally tried to sell it for 9 quid. I tried out Monaco first thinking that the speccy would recreate the city!! hoho the innocence....

The Retro Brothers said...

Yeah, I got this for £1.99 also - and it wasn't even worth that!
Imagine Monaco re-created on the Speccy - that would be something!

Vicky said...

I spend a considerable portion of my childhood on this game, and I thought it was brilliant.

The Retro Brothers Favourite ZX Spectrum Games...

Jetpac Remake

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