Test Drive: Off Road
Preview by Al Giovetti, 09/15/96
Genre: simulation (off-road racing)
History: Several years back in the dark ages of computer, a game called Test Drive came along that used first person perspective, with a rear view mirror. You raced along Pacific Coast Highway at ridiculously high speeds passing cars and trucks and avoiding oncoming traffic. The action was divided into a sequence of gasoline station rest stops where the points were tallied. Police, who you could outrun with an extra burst of speed and skill, could overtake you and give you speeding tickets. Accompanied by noises of a crash and a broken window graphic, you could run off the road or blow up the engine if you missed a turn or gear. If you drove fast enough you made it to the end when you were awarded the car for your proficiency. You drove a Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus, and some other cars. It was a game I spent a lot of time on.
Plot: Accolade is reviving this series of games where the most fun was driving cars that behaved like the original on ridiculously high speeds and dangerous roads. But this time the cars are the quintessential 90ís muscle car, the sport utility vehicle (SUV).
You drive: Included in the lineup of cars is a Hummer, Land Rover Defender 90, not the Range Rover, Jeep Wrangler (why not the Jeep Wagoneer? - Ed.), and the Chevrolet K-1500 Z71.
Tracks: Instead of the long stretch of road separated by strategically placed gas stations, the new Off Road game will have 12 dirt, sand, and snow tracks.
Multi-player: Instead of the original single player game the new game will have full multi-player support for up to four players on split-screen, null modem, phone modem, and network. Why no internet?
Comparatives: Sega Rally
Cheats, Hints, and Walkthroughs:
Al Giovetti, The Computer Show, Review of the Original Test Drive Game released in the 1980's
Steve Bauman, Computer Games Strategy Plus, issue 71, October, 1996, pg. 15.