Review by TIDQ

"Not bad, but could stand to be a little zippier"

It's a cross-country dash! You and a billion other vehicles are on their way from Los Angeles, California, to New York, New York. Take your cheesy motorbike and outrace these bumper cars one at a time through highways and deserts.

It's a concept we've seen before, but Zippy Race does it a little differently. 90% of the game is in a top-down perspective, with slow-moving cars trying to cut you off and make you crash into them. Meanwhile, curves in the road, water puddles, and bushes will try to make you crash. Crash too much, and you'll run out of fuel, ending the game. Make a goal to pass every car before you reach New York, and you win. Your reward for winning? You get to do it all over again, with a faster engine.

The technique in Zippy Race is pretty simple. Cars purposely swerve in front of you, but when you get close, they stop swerving. So, passing cars is something that has to be done with patience, and at the last second. Get caught between a car and a hard place, and the only thing you can do is slow down to avoid a crash. You'll have to be going at full-speed most of the way to be in first place before the end, though.

Control-wise, the game is "okay." Most of your crashes will be a direct result of not being able to turn fast enough, but the levels are laid out in such a way that you need to do a lot of trick maneuvers.

The visuals are middle-of-the-road, but the sound is absolutely horrendous. The sound loop in most levels repeats about every four or five seconds, and even worse, the "music" on the parts where you're entering each major city loops literally every two seconds. The sound of bonus points ringing up at the end of each leg of the race also becomes annoying. I implore anyone and everyone to turn the sound OFF when playing this game, or severe brain damage may result.

If you have the patience and the skill to play through the game one time, the action does get a little more fun and a little more intense on the repeat races with higher top speed. It's just unfortunate that when you gameover or turn the game off, you can't start immediately on the higher-speed version. A difficulty setting would have gone a very long way to make this game even better.

The game is not bad, aside from hideous sound. Its challenge level is mostly fair, aside from a few cheap crashes and an unavoidable water trap in the desert here or there. Some different scenery to mix it up would have been preferred, and maybe some actual mechanics that made it feel like a real racing game. Not as good as the NES version, but one of the more playable SG-1000 games nonetheless.


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 11/22/06


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