Genre: Racing / Driving
Perspective: 1st-person, Side view
Gameplay: Managerial / business simulation
Vehicular: Automobile, Street racing, Vehicle simulator
Published by: California Dreams
Developed by: Magic Partners, P.Z.Karen Co. Development Group
Who could name, without hesitation, such a game where you can not only take part in races, but also modify your car by repainting it, sticking a sticker or sorting out the engine? Need for Speed, you say? Not bad, but not so original... Why? Well, first of all, today few people do not associate racing primarily with this bloated series, in which the spiritual component is getting poorer with each new part. And secondly, the very idea of a game where you can not only drive, but also sort out a car, has long been implemented in a much more interesting form in the Street Rod racing simulator.
In the yard in 1963, summer holidays. You already have a driver's license in your pocket and a small amount that can buy a used car ... In addition, grown-up boys are often interested in beautiful girls, and they choose the best of what is. Today, the best in the area is a street racer named King. Well, if you are ready to challenge his leadership - go ahead! Hurry before autumn arrives!
To overtake the King, who is driving a vicious black Chevrolet Corvette, you need an equally powerful car. But you can’t buy one for hard-earned $ 750 - this money is enough only for an old city car. However, he is already competitive - in addition to the King, a variety of street racers always hang out at the local diner, many of which also have standard crews. It will be possible to compete with them for the sake of material gain. With the proceeds, we can do whatever we want with our faithful horse: refuel, repaint, paste over, remove bumpers, lower the roof, “change shoes” into other wheels and, most importantly, replace the technical stuffing.
As a rule, the first car is Chevrolet of the 1940s - inexpensive, with a "humped" body and not a very powerful engine. However, the funds will be enough to replace some of the standard parts with more advanced ones, so that even at first it will be possible to leave behind even newer cars. Gradually, there is more money, and a car from a city car turns into a sports car ...
How, you ask? Yes, just - pens, pens! Unlike games in the Need for Speed series, where components are simply selected from a list, here you need to find the necessary spare part in the newspaper (it is important to understand that it must fit our car and other components), buy it and replace the old one yourself, be it Gearbox, engine, manifold, carburetor or wheels. It may seem that clicking on the bolts with the mouse is a primitive and tedious process, but to a certain extent it creates the illusion of a real action: digging into the motor of a real, not a virtual machine, the mechanic must also unscrew more than one detail in order to fix a malfunction or make an upgrade .. Finally, you can lower the roof and remove the bumpers to improve the aerodynamics of the car and reduce the load. But remember: without the mentioned bumpers, collisions become more dangerous!
By the way, about realism. Do not forget that the machine is not eternal and the parts gradually wear out. So it’s worth saving money not only for a new car, but also for spare parts. First of all, you need to stock up on rubber, since tires wear out the fastest. Of the hardware, the gearbox is the most vulnerable - sometimes even a new one can break right during the race. The engine also shakes - much slower, but it is also the most expensive. But the collectors and carburetors do not break at all.
It is worth remembering about refueling the car. If there are only 2-3 gallons of fuel in the tank, you will have to stop by the gas station before the race and pay a few dollars for a full tank.
When the car and driver are ready to race, it's time to challenge! In total, there are about a dozen different opponents in the game. Some of them travel on their father's "barges", others drive modified cars, others already sports cars ... There is a choice, however!
Auto duels in the game are divided into dredges (short races along a straight section of the track) and full-size racing flights. In the first case, the player is able to earn not so much (or not to earn at all - there is also the option of "playing for cracks"), however, after several victories in them, it is possible to offer a competition to the King himself - it is only important to do this in time. In a big race, you can get more money or even win back someone's car. However, it must be taken into account that in case of defeat, the opponent takes the chosen bet from the player. So consider whether it is worth risking your vehicle. And one more thing: do not forget that the police can intervene in your affairs very discreetly ...
Opponents also have a choice. Their refusal to race can be due to a variety of reasons: an inappropriate bet or, for example, fear of a player who often beats them. Finally, they may simply not want to.
But if your opponent has agreed to compete, get ready! In one of the options, the control is carried out with the mouse: moving left and right - turning the steering wheel, right button - gas pedal, left - put your hand on the gearshift lever. Just put: to change gears, you need to move the mouse to the right or left. Moreover, even with an automatic transmission at the beginning of the race, you need to remove the car from neutral exactly at the green traffic light (there is a risk of a false start). In the future, the gearbox will be manual, and then there will be a danger of overheating - especially on sports cars with their revving engines. Therefore, try to avoid maximum speed - either switch gears in time, or slightly slow down.
So, by defeating opponents, getting money and changing cars, the player will eventually come to the moment when he has a chance to overtake the King ...
The game also has weaknesses. It makes no sense to talk about its age features like graphics and sound. The first thing that confuses is the same instrument panel for all cars. Despite the fact that in Test Drive on the same engine they are different. It's also strange that cars from the 1930s, the oldest on the market, sell for exorbitant prices - perhaps because they are already exotic. The duration of the action is quite short, and you can reach the end in almost one day.
However, Street Rod is a computer racing gem of the late 1980s that even modern designs could not surpass.