Karting Grand Prix logo

Anco, £9.95 disk, joystick only

Anco's Karting Grand Prix affords the player the opportunity to negotiate a series of tracks of varying difficulty against up to two other opponents. Budding drivers are initially confronted with an options screen, from which game parameters are altered. At least one driver is controlled by the computer, and one or two human players can take the wheel of either remaining kart. The weather conditions are changed to icy, wet or dry, and tyres and sprocket rating are altered to suit. The players' status may also be modified from novice to amateur, and any of the eight tracks can be practised before launching into the game itself.

The overhead display shows the track and surrounding landscape features while an information panel in the top quarter of the screen shows the number of laps required, the number of laps currently completed, a tyre strength meter and an elapsed time counter.

No qualification is necessary, since any of the tracks are tackled at any point. Total and best lap times plus bonuses are recorded on a highscore table displayed at the end of each race.

Gordon Houghton This really isn't much of an advance over Code Masters' 8-bit Grand Prix Simulator: the graphics may be a vast improvement, but the 'karts' are just as awkward to handle. There's a comprehensive range of options, but they really don't effect any major change in the gameplay: they're basically a pointless gloss over the poor game design. The sampled soundtrack is quite approachable, but repeats too quickly, and the in-game effects are awful. The digitised engine roar and crashing sounds are raucous and prove an annoyance once the novelty has worn off. Graphically it's merely competent: moderately detailed and reasonably drawn, the colour and definition are both simplistic, and it contains possibly the worst title screen I've seen on an Amiga. Then there's the gameplay, with its occasionally unintelligent collision detection and the odd screen glitch when passing under bridges. Not recommended...
Julian Rignall I'm quite a Super Sprint fan, but can't honestly admit to liking this bad example of the genre. The general presentation is poor, with a dire title screen and an endlessly repeating 10 second sampled 'tune', which soon becomes tiresome. Although there's a comprehensive series of options, none seem to make any difference to the action, and the control method is simply awful. Karts often career off the track, with a complete disregard of joystick instruction, and it takes very little time for frustration to set in. At £10 Karting Grand Prix might be classed as 'budget', but personally I'd prefer save a few more pounds and buy something which gives far more entertainment.
Paul Glancey Although it obviously tries to emulate Super Sprint style of racing game, Karting Grand Prix fails because of the awful presentation. True, there are plenty of options to tinker with, but most of them seem to have little or no effect on the gameplay. They only serve to present a superfluous façade of polish on an otherwise rough-hewn game. It plays very badly - a fault probably attributable to the control method which had my kart leaping off the track at every opportunity. Aesthetically the game is no better: the graphics are unrealistic and fail to create the desired atmosphere, and use of the sound chip seems to lend itself to the term 'half-baked'. Vivid samples of screeching tyres and dustbins being kicked over lend a rather humorous air to the proceedings, but once the laughs have died down there isn't much here to allow recommendation. Just, the opposite, in fact.