Indy Heat
Copyright/Publisher: The Sales Curve, Licensed from: Leland Corp, Programming By:
Simon Pick, Music by: Mini Spock, Graphics by: Robert Whittaker,
Release Year: 1991, Genre: Racing Sports, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

Grand Prix racing has never been so dirty. This follow-up to Iron Man (Super Off-Road) is definitely from the Ayrton Senna school of driving, as is PHIL 'KERB MOUNTER' KING!...

Okay, I'll admit it, I'm not the greatest driver in the world. Gawd knows how I passed my driving test - I was shaking like a big jelly, and the examiner looked even more nervous!

Mind you, my navigation's even worse: I haven't managed to find Telford (roundabout city) centre yet without making at least two wrong turns.

It's just as well I can't travel at high speed - my Metro can just about manage 70mph without shaking to bits. So I was quite surprised to do quite well at Indy Heat. I even managed to beat Sega Force games champ, Paul Mellerick - at which point he went off in a huff.

However, five minutes later he was playing again, completely ignoring a cupboard full of Mega Drive games to play on the 64. Well, can you blame him?

Super super sprint
Well I suppose someone's got to say it, Indy Heat is a variation on the old Supersprint theme. Four tiny cars race around 12 overhead-view, single screen tracks.

Up to two players can compete against computer drivers of varying ability. Let one of these beat you and you lose a life - if you have enough credits you can continue-play (although some tracks don't allow this).

Races involve a lot of Senna-style argy-bargy with cars being shoved into walls etc. Too many knocks and you have to enter the colour-coded pits for repairs. The ant-like crew then repair and refuel the car - its miles-per-gallon is lower than a leaky Rolls Royce.

One dirty trick is to knock your opponent off his pit and run over his crew! (I bet Mansell wishes he could run ober his own!) Doing well in races earns you championship points, and hard cash. The latter is spent in the garage between races on a variety of super-duper car improvements.

Magic multiload
The 12 tracks range from a simple racing oval to the bendiest of street circuits. Each is loaded in separately when needed, but two tracks can be held in memory. An ingenious main menu option allows you to turn the multiload off, so you just race around two tracks.

Even more useful is the 'Ask' option, where before every race the program gives you the choice of either of the two tracks in memory, or loading in a new one.

This thoughtful presentation extends to the car control system with each player given a choice of the usual 'rotate left/right, fire to accelerate' method, directional control, joystick or keyboard.

You also get to choose the appearance of your driver, and enter your initials - the program even says 'hello again' if it recognises them from a previous game!

Size isn't everyhting
As for the graphics, they're small but perfectly formed with lots of nice little details like the dirt flying from you wheels as you skid onto the grass verge - something I'm very familiar with! And on the last lap, the little race official frantically waves the chequered flag.

Presentation screens include the winner's rostrum and a neat hall of fame with the driver's heads shown. Sound's not bad either with a choice of good, continuous music or gritty engine and crash FX.

The gameplay impresses far more, though. As with most games of this genre, Indy Heat really comes into its own with two players - it's a shame a third couldn't have joined in on keys (as in Iron Man).

Races are totally hectic with cars constantly barging and bumping their way to the front with the help of turbo power, so race positions are never sure until you pass the chequered flag. There's an extra tactical element in knowing when to go the pits and how long to stay in - you don't need full refuelling if there's only one lap left.

Indy Heat is hardly ground-breaking - the pits are really the only novel feature over previous overhead racers - but far more importantly it's helluva lot of fun to play. And at the end of the final lap, that's all that matters.
Phil! 90%

Turn Up The Heat
After every race you can soup up your car - spending dosh on increasing levels of the following...

Turbo: Your turbo power is shown below your fuel while racing. Pressing up gives you a quick boost - great for lightning overtaking manoeuvres.

Brakes: Those things you use when you want to slow down! The better they are, the quicker you slow down to get round tight bends.

Tyres: Give you better grip to avoid skiddin gout of control.

Crew: The better your pit crew is, the faster they can repair and refuel your car.

MPG: Miles per gallon - improved fuel economy means fewer time-wasting pit stops.

Engine: A bigger one gives you improved acceleration.

Simon's Pick: He chooses the best items for you - mostly a lot of turbos.

Wowzer, this is good stuff. I loved the arcade version and was positively drooling over the game on the 64. The programming manages to retain the polish of the arcade and all the fun.

Going into the pits and deciding how much fuel you want is great fun, although sometimes you'll get in wrong and run out halfway round. Storm have come up with a cracker of an arcade conversion and a brilliant game anyway. Rush out and splash out all your spondooles on this right now.


Outstanding multiload and control options.
Small but arcade-like with some nice backdrops.
Good continuoustune or crunchy effects.
Simple to get into, so addictive that you'll be hooked!
Twelve tracks and compulsive two player option.