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Game info

Jupiter Masterdrive

Jupiter Masterdrive
GenreArcade Racing
Developer / PublisherUbisoft
Media1 x disk
Reviewed byndial
Jupiter's Masterdrive is a futuristic arcade top-view racer with races of bumping, blasting, battles to the finish. It's arcade style graphics and gameplay are its main advantages, and the tracks are unpredictable enough to keep drivers on the edge of their seats. The game was released on several systems, including the Amstrad CPC, Atari ST/E, Sinclair ZX Spectrum and Commodore Amiga.
Jupiter MasterdriveThe action takes place on the planet Jupiter and its moons.The aim is to drive a powerful car around a series of circuits found in a Jupiter's moons and attempt to outwit your opponents (human or computer), getting one of the three places and be awarded the money price instead (the first gets the more cash). Before racing you are presented with a graphic of Jupiter and its moons. Clicking on one of the moons will allow you to practice that particular circuit or if you choose Jupiter itself then the Masterdrive tournament will begin (there are 18 tracks to show your skills on). Fortunately, there aren't any rules, so cannon and other such weapons are acceptable. Between races you can increase the performance of your vehicle too. During racing apart of the other cars opponents, you need to check your armor and fuel levels too. Fuel is getting lower as you race around and armor is decreased when crashing on the side-bars or onto the other opponents or other obstacles found in your way. Fortunately you can pick up armor and fuel bonuses during racing, and also buy/upgrade your vehicle with more powerful engines, missiles, bigger tank fuel, speed boots and so on, as long as you finish a race.
The courses range from a basic oval type road to very complex, winding tracks, tracks with different weather conditions etc. Racing on ice requires great care as the cars tend to slide far easier than normal.
There are a few bonus stages to choose, that have two competitors racing around a maze to collect bonus objects (the first to collect 10 bonuses, receives extra cash to shop goodies for his car). Saving up cash and going for the biggest upgrade first is cheaper in the long term but spend wisely.
Gameplay although simple and straightforward, gets quite difficult at times, as it is rather hard to beat each component and get the best place .The cars travel just too fast, when boosted, to be controlled easily and the tracks are unpredictable enough to keep drivers on the edge of their seats. Add to that some confusing routes, which will easily make you take the worst one resulting to smash, bash and crash on something! But Jupiter's Masterdrive is an enjoyable game that is certainly worth looking at, much like Nitro and Super Cars 2 titles.

The graphics don't look much at first glance, but you soon find that there's been a lot of attention paid to detail although running with up to 16 colors on screen even for the Amiga version. Each circuit is different in layout, obstacles and driving characteristics. There are also ice-tracks, deserts, and desolate crater-strewn landscapes to negotiate. The cars move quickly and smooth, and slide about in an impressive fashion. Especially in the Amiga version, screen scrolling is particularly fluid.
Sound consists of a suitably introductory title tune, and several sampled here in-game sound effects such as car engine throttles, missile-firing and explosions which complements the action well. Music is missing during races though.
  • Jupiter Masterdrive
  • Jupiter Masterdrive
  • Jupiter Masterdrive
  • Jupiter Masterdrive
  • Jupiter Masterdrive
  • Jupiter Masterdrive
Intro/Menu music:  In-game music sample:
Gameplay sample
Some videos belong to (indicated); others not
Comparable platforms

16 colors
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS

16 colors
Atari ST
Hardware information

Amiga 500/500+

Amiga 500/500+CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz
MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM.
GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once).
SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs
The Amiga 500/500+ (default) color palette
12bit RGB 4096-colors palette
(32 to 4096 colors on screen)
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