International Truck Racing logo

Zeppelin * £7.99 * 091-385 7755

Surely people watch large vehicles racing in order to glimpse the mighty crashes which are bound to occur? Of course, nobody wants to see people get hurt, but who could resist seeing a thunderous great Volvo tumbling like a spent match along the tarmac?

This is where Zeppelin's game fails to deliver. It provides a top-down view of lots of lorries ambling around a circuit, sliding at the corners and occasionally going on to the grass when things get misjudged. There is a bit of bumping and barging to contend with, but nothing which adequately sums up the raw power of the uncrowned 'kings of the road'. You cannot even make them go 'psssss' loudly when you stop, like in real life.

It is not sustaining entertainment, to be honest. It is like Supercars but slower; possibly because trucks travel at less speed. There is not any excitement. It is bereft of kicks. There is a gap in the market for a great game involving large HGVs hitting each other, smacking into unyielding stationary things and ploughing through haybales like Dick Dastardly.

Sadly, there are a great many games like International Truck Racing. Most are better, too. Aside from a few neat effects and a natty pre-menu bit where you see the trucks belting towards your helpless viewpoint; it is not very good.

Da t(r)uckert er hin...

International Truck Racing logo

Wie heißt es immer: Der Name ist Programm! In diesem Fall leider ein schlechtes, denn was man bei Zeppelin so unter internationalen Lkw-Rennen versteht, müßte eher unter "Schrottplatz-Meisterschaften" laufen...

Im Unterschied zu "Carnage", der anderen Autorasrei aus gleichem Hause in diesem Heft, wird hier wenigstens in alle Richtungen gescrollt, wenn auch meist etwas holprig. Aber man ist ja schließlich mit einem Lastwagen unterwegs, den man sich übrigens zu Beginn unter acht Kandidaten aussuchen darf.

Nach einer Qualifikationsrunde tritt der Spieler dann gegen fünf Computer-Trucker an, wahlweise darf noch ein weiterer Mensch die Fahrerkabine entern.

Die Saison setzt sich aus sechs, in drei Klassen aufgeteilte Rennen zusammen, wobei nur derjenige in die Oberliga aufsteigt, der mit seinem Gefährt möglichst häufig auf den ersten Platz landet. Vorher wird auf der Strecke oft, gerne und kräftig gerammt, weshalb der eine zulässige Boxenstopp in der Regel fast nicht zu vermeiden ist.

Die Steuerung per Stick oder Tasten klappt dabei prinzipiell ganz ordentlich, allerdings haben die 38-Tonner ein recht merwürdiges Kurvenverhalten - woran auch die vier angebotenen Bereifungsalternativen nichts ändern können. Grafisch gibt es stinklangweilige Rennlandschaften aus der gewohnten Vogelperspektive, dazu kommen ein paar schlecht digitalisierte Zwischenbildchen. Die passende akustische Ergänzung liefern die spärlich verteilten Soundeffekte und eine kurze Titelmusik.

Also ein rundum anspruchslose Angelegenheit, die man zwar nicht direkt als ausgewachsene Katastrophe bezeichnen kann - aber selbst zum Spartarif gibt es wahrlich interessantere Rennsportveranstaltungen am Monitor. (rf)

International Truck Racing logo

In another incarnation I write for a dead spiffy mag called Commodore Format, which is devoted to the Amiga's older relation, the C64. This isn't just a plug (No, but it works just as well - Ed) - I mention it for a reason. Y'see while I was playing International Truck Racing my mind kept wandering and I had difficulty remembering which magazine I was reviewing the darned thing for.

International Truck Racing looks and plays like a C64 game. Okay, so there are a few more on-screen colours, but the graphics are so primitive only an archeologist could get excited about them. The trucks themselves are little more than articulated shoe-boxes, for heaven's sake.

This game does not exactly stretch the Amiga to its limits - frankly, the machine barely has to be turned on to handle International Truck Racing giv.

The game takes the form of a league that's played out on six different tracks around Europe. Before each race you have to drive a qualifying round, the faster you manage to complete that the better placing you get on the grid. When you race for real, ramming opponents and cutting corners are not so much allowed as necessary - so be careful. It's easy for your vehicle to get wrecked if you're shunted too often or drive off the track too much. There are pits to visit on each track, but using them wastes time.

You earn points if you pass the chequered flag in first, second or third place and if you've got the most points at the end of a season then you get to move up to the next league.

And, er, that's about it. It's deathly slow, even on the 1200, and this can't be excused by the fact that you're driving lorries instead of cars. Okay, trucks can't zoom about like Formula One Lotuses, but they can still shift. Steering the trucks is heavier than you'd find with normal motor racing games while accelerating and braking is much more gradual, but these effects still don't make the game different enough to make it anything more than a slow-motion racer.

Couple this with gameplay that progresses about as much as a World War 1 trench on a wet Wednesday evening, and you really haven't got a very exciting game.