Ivan 'Iron Man' Stewart's Super Off-Road
Copyright/Publisher: Virgin Mastertronic/Graftgold, Arcade Concept: Leland
Programming by: Jason Page, Graphics by: John Cumming, Music by:
Team Leader: Steve Turner, Technical Advisor: Ivan Stewart,
Release Year: 1990,
Genre: Racing Sports, Number Of Players: 1 to 3
Across the Big Pond, Ivan 'Iron Man' Stewart is something of a celebrity in the
world of off-road racing. King of the four wheel drive pick-up truck, Ivan
has won more tropjies and awards than you can shake a 4x4 at.
His exploits saw
Leland write a coin-op which proved one of the most successful of 1988 with its
three-player mode the rough and tumble of pick-up racing/rallying and classic
Super Sprint-style action. Now Graftgold have taken on the task of converting
the Iron Man coin-op.
It's the start of the racing season and the four-by-four trucks are ready
and raring to go, Iron Man is there and so are three other contestants revving
up on the start line. Before the race each truck driver was given #100.000 to
customise vital parts of their vehicle.
The acceleration, top speed, shocks
(for a smoother ride) and tyres (for better grip when turning) can all be
upgraded to a maximum Five rating. Extra nitros (to add to the 25 initially
installed in the car) can be bought for a temporary but terrific boost in
acceleration around the course.
With the flag going down, the trucks intro away from the start line, bumping
and bashing their way past each other up hill and down ditch. Extra nitros can
be picked up on the way round and extra cash bags are there to be collected (
handy for use in the shop).
Coming first is recommended but the only requirement for staying in the
championship is that you complete the fifth lap ahead of any other computer-
controlled cars (and that includes Iron Man Ivan himself). Ivan may be pretty
slow in the first few races but give him time and it'll be his rear bumper that
you'll be seeing unless you upgrade wisely.
Fail to beat him and you're out but using one of the three shared continue-plays
gives you another chance against him (and your friends). Get through the course
and it's back to the shop to upgrade even more, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place
drivers getting a reward of a kiss from Miss Iron Bikini, a trophy and quite
a bit of cash.
The next course out of eight beckons but to get to the eighth you have to go
through the rest in order (and then the mirror imgage of them), making 37 levels
in all. Can YOU beat Iron Man?
Although it didn't push the Super Sprint idea too much, Iron Man has always been
great fun in the arcade because of its rough and tumble, chaotic fun element,
making for a surprisingly successful coin-op and unsurprisingly playable computer
It wouldn't have pushed Graftgold's abilities too much to convert but they've
worked wonders squeezing it all into one load on the C64 and providing bags of colour
and detail in the cars.
The Amiga benefits with samples and a total of 18 tunes for tracks, countries
and the trophy presentation (dig that banjo and honk that horn!). The 16-bit
graphic quality is really taken advantage of with some excellent attention to detail
in the cars.
The screen is packed and what you have is a slick looking game (right down the
to the start-up where you input your date of birth and select your country).
The C64 version is spot-on with no multiload to hinder the pace and the full set
of effects straight from the arcade machine like the clouds of dust when you
nitro off a bump, the hardy short cuts, and three-player mode.
Even the country selection is in there and amazingly everything's crammed into
one load. Fun and playability together - all the ingredients to make Iron Man
one very tasty cake indeed. You really get into the swing of things seeing the
trucks rough riding it all over the place, it's a great feeling to nitro past the
opposition to take the winning flag and bumping other vehicles around is game in
itself. Through the simplicity of the control method - rotate left/right and
accelerate - Iron Man is instantly addictive and proves one great rough ride
all the way!
Have all the other reviewers gone on holiday? Is Robin the only one who can
drive a 4x4? Nope! What happened was Graftgold had completely finished Iron Man
but weren't sending out review copies for a week or so. Call in roving reporter
Hogg to zip across to Essez and smasj up a couple of joysticks racing Mr
Braybrook et al.