An interesting development: the arrival of the budget compilation. Four
games for under three quid sounds like good value for money but is it?...
Probably the best game here is Run For Gold, even that's absolutely
ancient (even pre-ZZAP!). You get to 'train' two runners: one runs the
400m, the other competes in the 800m and 1500m. You don't really train
them, though - just control them during races which are viewed in 3-D,
with your viewpoint just behind your runner.
You have to adjust the runner's pace to keep up with the computer
runners but also conserve enough energy for a fast finish. In easy mode,
you automatically run in your lane, unless you move left/right to change
lanes. On the harder skill level, you have to manually steer around the
track bends. That's about it, really: do well enough in local meets
and you get to the big championships and attempt a world record.
Fun for a while but very limited.
Rally Driver is another old Hill MacGibbon game where you get to choose
your own route through each of three rally stages, hence the printed map
provided. Sometimes roads are closed due to bad weather - you are kept
up to date on things whenever you stop at a time control. Here you must
also give a two-letter code, obtained from reading the special roadside
boards along the way.
Get it wrong and you get a 20-second penalty.
Other penalites are incurred by crashing, going off the road or hitting
animals or spectators (you can beep your horn to get them to move out
of the way). It all sounds good, but the first-person perspective is
very slow and dull. The main difficulty is caused by oversensitive steering - it's
hard not to constantly weave around the road. This is more like drunken
driving than rallying!
Another inaccurate sim is Endzone, an American Football management
game which (to my cynical mind at least) looks suspiciously like a
revamped footy management game. All you get to do is buy and sell
players, change their position (strangely only indicated by a number)
and hope for the best in the extremely dull matches - watch the clock
tick and the scores mount up.
Yuk! A similarly dull match section is
incorporated in the final game, Soccer Boss (previously released as
The Boss by Peaksoft). Again the players have only one overall skill
rating and no preferred position either. So strategy is limited to buying
good players and, again just hoping for the best.
All four games, then,
are decidedly weak - and even at the budget price this compilation's
value for money is highly dubious unless you love nostalgia.