Lotus III: The Ultimate Challenge is the third arcade racing game in the Lotus series, combining all the gameplay aspects of its predecessors.
STORY / GAMEPLAY Lotus III is the third game in the Lotus series and it combines the gameplay aspects of its predecessors, allowing you to choose between racing opponents of Lotus Turbo Challenge or the arcade-like time trials of Lotus 2. The two-player option was retained and the music selection features returns (Patrick Phelan's soundtrack to Lotus III spawned many modern remixes). Since this is a racing game, there is no actual story. As all games of the series, Lotus III is based around the Lotus, a sports car series manufactured by the homonymous British car factory and offers the ability to choose among three different cars: the Esprit, the Elan and the Elise, each one having its own pros and cons. Note that duriong a race, all opponents will use the same car type you finally choose to drive. The gameplay is fast and progressively it gets too hard to master, so a little practice is needed.
GRAPHICS / SOUND Technically, the Amiga version features really smooth and fast scrolling and a variety of nicely detailed backgrounds. The game uses most of the graphics we have already seen in Lotus 2, but with an added number of new settings. The game's graphics are great, with each stage presented in an awesome way and the visual effects (like the fog for example) are quite impressive. Soundwise, the Amiga version offers music scores of excellent quality and this game is another good example why the Amiga's sound hardware was ahead of its time (and its competitors)! Lotus III features an excellent choice of in-game dancing soundtracks during gameplay (you can select one from your car's CD-Player) or you can choose to play with sound FX only (sampled sound FX in stereo of course). There is also a pretty nice intro theme!
In-game music sample:
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
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