You’re an intrepid special agent with your very own Lotus Turbo Esprit. Your task — to smash an international ring of drug smugglers who are about to make a huge delivery of heroin.
An armoured car is supplying the drugs to the centre of a city and four delivery cars collect the narcotics from the supply vehicle as it tours the streets. Your mission is to stop the delivery cars, preferably after they have made their pick-ups and before they scuttle off to the drug gang’s hideaways. Extra points are available if you can stop the armoured car before it leaves the city once all the drops have been made.
After the game has loaded, you are presented with a choice of four cities in which to combat the peddlers of evil substances — once the choice has been made the only way to change cities is to reload the game. A menu screen follows which allows you to view, save or load in high score tables, practise driving or play the game for real.
The action is viewed from the driving seat. The instruments on the dashboard, seen through the spokes of the steering wheel, include a speedometer, rev counter, fuel gauge and a temperature gauge. Don’t worry about gear changes — the computer takes care of that. Keep an eye on the fuel gauge, though. When it looks a bit low simply pull onto the pavement (make sure it is pedestrian free first!) and if you’re near a garage the tank re-fills.
The view out of the windscreen includes a black car — your Turbo Esprit — which dodges and weaves through the traffic as you spin the wheel and accelerate and decelerate. The city streets scroll towards you as you motor along and the display is full of detail: pedestrians stump around the sidewalks, traffic lights and car indicators flash, petrol stations tout for custom and little men repair the roads. Driving into vehicles driven by innocent citizens, as well as shooting them up and running over pedestrians add to your tally of penalty points shown in the status area on the dashboard. Some mean driving is needed to stay on the tail of the perpetrators of evil while avoiding crashes. Don’t despair if you write the car off — there are four available.
You are not entirely alone in your mission to quash the evil drug barons: messages from H.Q. occasionally pop up at the bottom of your screen with information on the smugglers’ whereabouts, and the same text area is used for status messages during the game.
The smugglers in ordinary cars can be stopped with a hail of bullets from your Turbo cannon. The baddies are easily identifiable — the delivery cars are blue and the armoured supply car is red. Don’t be too trigger happy though, more points are won by ramming the smugglers’ vehicles from behind while they are moving. Once a gangster car has taken a battering, the baddies surrender, and you can continue the mission. It’s possible to intercept the armoured supply car at any time, but once the main vehicle has been disabled the supply cars cease operation and there are no more points to be collected.
The smugglers have a number of hit cars, with nifty magenta or purple paintjobs to aid recognition, and their gun-toting passengers are hot on your trail. They roar past you at great speed with guns blazing. If they hit the Lotus, a message flashes onto your console and the car may well go out of control. Alternatively, a stray bullet might be lodged in the engine, which leads to overheating and eventual seizure if you don’t visit a garage and get the engine repaired in time.
The Turbo Esprit, apart from being a very fast motor indeed, has a pull-down map of the city which can be scrolled over the city, and highlights the position of your car as well as the drug baron’s vehicles. Like they say: it’s mean on the streets — be careful out there!
‘A great game from Durell. Turbo Esprit is certainly addictive. It allows you to zoom round the back streets and alleyways, which I enjoyed particularly, but you have to be careful not to bump into other cars or pedestrians. To begin with, turning the car into side roads can be a bit tricky, because you have to judge the angle, and the control takes some getting used to, but it comes quite naturally after a while. Once you’ve located the drug barons the action gets fast and furious with high speed chases around the area. It’s great fun — look out for it!’
‘This game is great fun, put simply. Even if you don’t bother knocking out drug cars, just driving around picking up penalty points is fun. The graphics aren’t immediately astounding, but the detail soon becomes apparent, and once it does it’s pretty surprising: pedestrians walk about, cars stop at lights and swerve to avoid roadworks, their indicators work and little men even work on roadlamps! This game is very playable and addictive, but it needs to be played for a good half an hour before all the subtleties become apparent. Congratulations, Durell, you’ve made me happy again.’
‘Durell Software seem set to continue their long line of very well polished off software — with another food program, Turbo Esprit. Turbo Esprit is a very easy game to get into because of the simple plot, and I was very soon addicted. As on all Durell games the graphics are very sharp and yet very detailed due to the limited colour in parts. Again we have a few two channel simulated tunes at the important points of the game. Turbo Esprit gives you a good feel of what it’s like to manoeuvre a sports car around the streets of cities and lets you try your hand at three point turns up one way streets, which I can assure you gives exciting driving. This is a superb game for all shoot em up and car freaks, and is reasonably priced at £8.95.’
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2, Cursor
Keyboard play: positive
Use of colour: attribute clash on the roadway
Graphics: very clever scrolling cityscape
Sound: bashes, crashes and a catchy tune
Skill levels: four
Screens: four scrolling cities to drive around
General Rating: A driving game with a fair bit of gameplay behind it.
|Use of Computer||90%|
|Value For Money||86%|