Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge (ZX Spectrum)

by PaulEMoz

I'm going to take some flak for this one. So be it. I'm playing games I've never played before and giving opinions. If my opinions aren't popular... well, they're still my opinions.

I've had the Spectrum version of Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge recommended me by many people as a Tour de Force of Spectrum programming, and a fantastic racing game. Well, I love racing games, so this sounded very promising. I've also played a couple of racers on the Spectrum that I liked... I seem to remember Enduro Racer was quite good.

So that's why I'm baffled by this one. I hated it.

For starters, your playfield is restricted to one third of the screen. This is not a good thing, in any way. It's especially bad when you're going up or down hills... you only get to see your car and the sky, or your car and a chunk of green. You can't do anything with any accuracy.

Turning corners is horrible, too. There are only about two possible areas of the track you can inhabit... the outside of the corner of the road and the obstacles on the side of the road.

It's fair to say the roadside obstacles move by at a fair lick, but it's like the road itself is a conveyor belt... the car just sits there, with no illusion of movement whatsoever. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, and not that it affects the gameplay in anyway... the sound is an absolute waste of time. Not sure about the 128K version though, but the 48K one just sounds ridiculous.

I'm sorry to say this, especially with my Speccy-loving chums reading this, but Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge is one of the least exciting racers I've ever played. I just felt nothing throughout the whole experience. Shame, as I was really looking forward to it.