Hot Rod
Copyright/Publisher: Sega/Activision, Music By: Jeroen Tel,
Release Year: 1989, Genre: Racing Sports, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

Rev that engine! Power drift around those corners! Outrun those cops and turbo past the opposition! You're in the Hot Rod Championships and there's two other Hot Rodders (three on Amiga) vying for first place and the glory that goes with it - not to mention a kiss from Miss Hot Rod herself!

The races take place on 15 different types of scrolling course with obstacles ranging from oil drums to police cars. Lucky for you then that you don't need to come first to get onto the next course. Don't lag too far behind though as the computer judge will push you back on screen, deducting 20 points of fuel in the process.

Run out of fuel and your Hot Rod splutters to a halt along with any chance of qualifying for the next race. Gas can be picked up during the race and points too, there's even some rough terrain short cuts and tunnels you go down to sneak past the others.

A shop waits at the end of each race where tyres (improve road grip), engines (better speed and acceleration), bumpers (stronger car body) and wing sections (boost road holding) can be bought for extortionat amount of money.

Pick the right hardware for your Rod or you'll be eating the other's dust. Your reputation, ego and your bimbo girlfriend's affection rests on you winning these races so get out there and burn rubber!

Erm... dare I say this looks just a tad like Super Sprint? Well it does, which is a bit strange since Activision have done both conversions. It also plays like Super Sprint, ie fairly playable in two-player mode but boring and repetitive on your own.

Technically, the C64 conversion is the better one with a great attract mode and some typically brilliant Maniacs music. The Amiga game features some tacky graphics (Miss Hot Rod looks like the back end of a bus!) and is also far too easy. Overall, it's not too hot.

I had mixed expectations of how Hot Rod would turn out even with veteran Compunetters Ash 'N' Dave providing a quality programming touch to the 64 conversion. The final game is certainly a polished production with a neat attract mode, a great Maniacs of Noise title track (up there with Turbo Out Run) and some nifty in-game tunes.

Other than the four-player facility (using a two-joystick interface) there's not a lot that is particularly impressive about Amiga Hot Rod, but the pace of it is slightly faster and the graphics have more of a cartoon feel about them.

Like Sonic Boom the problem is in the original coin-op's gameplay, it's just not varied or interesting enopugh, looks nice though.


Neat attract moed with superlative Maniacs of Noise title track. Heavy multiload though and no continue-plays.
Small but detailed cars. Colourful backdrops make up for the featureless tracks.
A good variety of Maniacs tunes and spot effects.
Two-player element gives the game a competitive spirit from the start.
Tracks aren't all that varied leaving only the different graphic backdrops to hold the attention. Solo games can get repetitive.
A well produced Super Sprint variant.