LYNX: Super Off-Road

From: John Daniels (ah499@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 02/16/95-09:56:27 PM Z

From: ah499@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (John Daniels)
Subject: LYNX: Super Off-Road
Date: Thu Feb 16 21:56:27 1995

Review by: Robert Jung
1-4 players, horizontal game
Telegames, for the Atari Lynx
Stereo? No
    Pile into the pickup and head for the stadium, it's time for some mud-
stompin' action with SUPER OFF-ROAD.  In this Lynx version of the Tradewest
arcade game, four racers drive monster trucks around a variety of dirt tracks.
Players must deal with ramps, hills, valleys, and more as they race for the
finish, while trying to pick up extra money and nitro boosts along the way.
Then they take those winnings to the shop to buy better equipment before the
next race begins.  Up to four Lynxes can be connected for multi-player
    The arcade version of SUPER OFF-ROAD was a simple but enjoyable racing
game.  Unfortunately, the Lynx version is neither, being loaded with major
problems that cripple the game beyond rescue.  The first problem lies in the
enhancements for the players' trucks: aside from extra nitro boosts, money
spent on features such as suspension and engines appear to have no effect.
There's also a lack of incentive; no matter how poorly you finish, you always
go to the next race anyway.
    Though each course is a three-dimensional set of jumps, peaks, and
valleys, the game often plays like a flat race.  For instance, a car in midair
may crash into another one passing "below," or a truck in the middle of a lane
will suddenly find itself along the side when it climbs a hill.
    The death blow is a horrible bug in the driving system.  If a human player
gets too close to a wall, he stops completely.  As a result, running parallel
along a wall is impossible, narrow lanes are a nightmare, and sharply cutting
corners is an exercise in futility.  The computer drivers don't have this
problem, which completely unbalances the game against players.
    The sounds and graphics in SUPER OFF-ROAD are merely functional and little
more.  Status screens between races are drawn simply, with no effort made at
enhancement or appeal.  The races look better, at least; detail is used well,
and identifying game action is never a problem.  But this is marred by jumpy
scrolling and slow screen updates, which detracts from the game.  Sound
effects are equally unimpressive, consisting solely of a few basic crashes and
chimes.  A number of background tunes play during each race, but they range
from the merely forgettable to the slightly irritating.
    SUPER OFF-ROAD's functional graphics and sound are wasted on the game
itself.  Flaws in the driving system will leave players frustrated as they
wrestle with the controls, and only the truly devoted will bother with this
title.  In the end, there are better driving games on the Lynx and better
versions of SUPER OFF-ROAD elsewhere.
                GAMEPLAY:        4.5
                GRAPHICS:        6
                SOUND:           6
                OVERALL:         5
  Rating values  10 - 8   Great! This game can't get much better.
                  7 - 5   Good. Average game, could be improved.
                  4 - 2   Poor. For devotees only.
                      1   Ick. Shoot it.

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