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Review by: Shawn Quigley
Published: January 15, 1998
EA Sports has always been known for their Madden Football, NHL Hockey, and basketball games. Until now, they really have not entered into the racing simulation market on the PC platform with an old title. This year EA Sports has brought out Andretti Racing. Andretti Racing represents a unique combination by offering both Indy and stock car racing under the same hood.
Andretti Racing features the backing of one of the greatest, if not the greatest, family in racing. Mario, Michael and Jeff Andretti have lent a hand in the creation of Andretti Racing with EA Sports. The game includes videos of the Andrettis offering racing advice and information. This is combined with the EA Studio’s presentation style that gives the game a TV broadcast look to it.
There are different ways you can play Andretti Racing. You either have the choice of racing an exhibition race or entering into a career from the main menu. There are also options to enter into the racing school, which will help teach you the fundamentals of racecar driving. The racing school consists of a video that you can watch to get ideas from the pros on different aspects of racing.
The main difference that really stands out in Andretti Racing is the chance to race in an Indy Car or a stock car within the same game. When you begin a race in exhibition mode, you can choose the circuit, or car, that you would like to race. Once you have chosen a circuit you choose which track you would like to race. There are a total of 16 tracks included in Andretti Racing. After choosing these two options, you have the chance to qualify for your starting position or you can simply go right into the race. There are also options for tuning your car before the qualifying round.
If you choose to run the qualifying lap, you will have the chance to take three runs around the track. The best score of the three laps will be used to judge your starting position. After going through the qualifying laps, you will enter into the car setup screen. You then have the opportunity to make any final changes to your car before you enter into the race. There is no option to test drive your car set up after making these changes.
The car setup screen allows you to modify the tires, front wing, rear wing, gear ratios, and the amount of fuel that you want to take on. These adjustments will have a minor effect on how your car performs on the racetrack in Andretti Racing. You also can choose whether or not you want to race with an automatic or manual transmission. Each option, such as the tires option, provides you with a slider so that you can adjust that option. In the case of tires, you can make your tires either softer are harder. This will directly affect the wear of your tires during the race.
In the career mode, you start out by choosing what circuit you would like to race in. You race in a 10-race season where you are awarded points for your performance. As you gain points you will get opportunities to accept offers from sponsors. Your car will reflect this during the races. Andretti Racing works very much in a season mode, meaning that you can continue through a number of seasons while you try and make it to the top level. If you reach that level, you are offered a chance to drive on the Andretti Racing team.
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