The 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.