Pitstop II
Copyright/Publisher: Epyx, Release Year: 1984,
Genre: Formula One, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

When you first see this racing game you get rather a surprise. The display is split horizontally across the middle, each one being a screen in its own right, acting independently from one another. Each half shows views from the two separate cars along with information like speed, time, fuel and laps - and it's here the game scores over the rest of the competition. The action is accurately portrayed from both players' viewpoints so if player one is ahead of player two then two will see one in his screen. If two overtakes one then one will see two creep up behind him and zoom past.

With this two player mode, jostling each other for the optimun line and trying to bump each other off the track becomes part and parcel of the game. If you select single player then the computer takes over one of the screens and provides a pretty deft opponent.

As is well known in the racing world, rubbing tyres with another car or belting round a bend at 251 mph tends to damage the tyres a little. If you do this constantly then your tires start to wear out. This is indicated when they turn lighter and lighter as you race. Starting off black thay follow a nice course of rainbow colours before turning to a near fatal white. At that stage one touch causes a blowout and sends your car spinning from the track.

If your tyres start to become worn then you can make a pit stop to change them. Simply move into the third far left lane just after the starting post and you automatically enter the pits. Here, you must control the tyre changer and guide him round the vehicle to remove the worn tyres and replace them with fresh ones; and you must also control the refueler separately. Speed is of the essence - every second you waste is a second gained by your opponent.

There are plenty of options including six tracks, number of laps, three levels of play and grand circuit option where you race each of the six tracks one after the other in true World Championship style. After every race you are given a scoresheet with the times of all the cars and points allocated. After every race the scoreboard is updated and with two players the going can get very competitive.

This is a superb racing game, graphics and sound being of extremely high quality. It's like playing two improved Pole Position one on top of the other.


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