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Review by: Pete Hines
Published: May 2, 1997
Nitro Racers is a racing simulation game from 3DO that was recently released in Europe only. It will be released in the U.S. some time later this year. This fast-paced game puts you in control of a race car as it whips around one of 30 tracks. The game resembles the Off Road game in the arcades, where four trucks battled it out on dirt tracks. Your view of the track is either from high above, where the whole track fits in your screen, or in a split-screen mode. It reminded me of racing the radio-controlled cars around the track in my living room as a kid.
The game can be played in two modes, arcade or simulation. In arcade mode, you play a simple racing game and race the given number of laps; first one across wins. In the management mode, you must watch your fuel and damage and will have to pit at least once in each race. You earn money based on where you finish in each race. In between races you can update the skill of your pit crew, the quality of your tires, or the power of your engine. You will need the added features because the races get tougher and the competition gets faster the farther you go. In both cases, you must stay in the top three among point leaders to continue to the next track. Points are given to each player based on where they finish in a race.
Depending on what difficulty level you’re playing (easy, medium, or hard), you’ll have three, five, or seven competing cars on the track with you. Your game screen gives you info on what place you’re in, what your total time is, and what your best lap time is. The object is simple, finish the race in the top three or your game’s over. If you’re successful in placing in the top three, the game will chart the scores for all the cars and display them between races. Not only do you want to finish well, but you want to move up in the overall standings.
However, your competition has no intention of making this easy. You’ll find yourself bumping and grinding the whole way around the track if you’re not careful. 3DO designed some pretty cool and challenging tracks for you to test your metal, and your mettle. They range from simple street and circular tracks, to courses in the jungle and ones covered with snow. If things get too close for comfort, you can always get a boost of speed by using nitrous. These provide a blast of power and can quickly separate you from the pack, or catch you up to the leader if you are behind. Extra nitrous appears throughout the courses during each race, and the first car to run over the pack gets the extra nitrous.
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