Atari 2600 – Grand Prix

22958-grand-prix-atari-2600-front-cover1

“Something is wrong with my car sir.
It’s shi**ing rainbows!”


 

A racing game by Activision that screams ‘quality’!
What a shame that they didn’t do anything with it.

If you’re like me, you don’t give a damn about Formula 1.
Watching fast cars going in circles for five hours…just the thought of it puts me to sleep.
Thankfully, most rounds in Grand Prix last around two minutes at most.
You start the game by choosing one of four tracks.
They all look the same and only differ in length (some feature narrow bridges tho…wow).
You accelerate by pressing forward and brake by pressing backward.
Avoid the many other cars since crashing into them brings you to a sudden stop.
There are also some oil slicks on the road.
They won’t slow you down but you’ll lose control of your car.
The game ends (immediately) when you reach the finish line.

Grand Prix looks really good.
Cars are big (maybe too big) and detailed and they went with a light color scheme which is easy on the eyes.
The sound is stunning.
Your car roars with the power of a hundred horses and you can even hear a satisfying *whoosh* when passing an opponent.
Impressive stuff.
And lastly, the controls feel really slick. This is probably the first game I’ve played so far that features a brake button.

So, great game right?
No, because they literally stopped development right there.
There is no position counter; only a timer, in case you want to write down your best time and beat it later on. What a thrilling concept, right?
Opponents are mere obstacles. They won’t even go near the finish line. They just stop.
Add the abundance of a multiplayer mode or different gameplay variations and you understand my frustration.
Grand Prix showed a lot of promise but in the end, it feels like a sophisticated tech demo.
Shame.
Skip it!

4/10

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