Burnin' Rubber is a successful adaptation of Wec Le Mans, the arcade hit (which was released years earlier for the Amstrad CPC). The game was included either as a single cartridge or in the Plus System Cartridge (contains the Plus Operating System (v4), Locomotive BASIC v1.1, AMSDOS and Burnin' Rubber game). This is the first game release for the advanced CPC Plus (or CPC+) and GX4000 machines from Amstrad, and a showcase for their new hardware capabilities.
STORY / GAMEPLAY Since Burnin' Rubber is a racing game, there's no actual story. The game begins with a qualifying lap that will determine your starting grid position. You must complete the lap in less than a minute if you want to have a chance to participate in the 24 Hours Le Mans race. But your position on the starting grid will, in fact, have little impact on the outcome of the race. When qualified for the Le Mans, the race will start in mid-afternoon (under a beautiful clear blue sky), but you will quickly face visibility problems since it will get darker as you progress (through the check points). At night, the smallest gap can be fatal as you will only be able to see the reflective panels from the edge of the circuit and the position lights of your opponents! Even more distressing are the passages under the tunnels which are downright dangerous. Surely Burnin' Rubber is one of the best racing titles for the CPC Plus and the GX4000 hardware, although it doesn't actually show their full hardware capabilities.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The game is a very good example of what the new hardware can do. It features smooth sprite animation and colorful graphics using the enhanced color palette (31 out of 4096 on screen!). The cars are nicely animated and it's really impressive when crashing at high speeds (where the car turns and spins into the air). The screen scrolling is not that fluid, but surely is much better and smoother than any older racing title running on a classic Amstrad CPC. The sound is also very good and DMA sound is used for sound effects (engine effects and a few other ambient sounds from the racing tracks), including a wonderful (but rather repetitive) introductory tune.
CPU: ZiLOG Z80 processor clocked at 4 MHz MEMORY: 464 CPC+ 64Kb RAM, 6128 CPC+ 128Kb RAM, 32 kb ROM GRAPHICS: 12bit RGB color palette (4096 colors) supporting 32 colors on screen (16 + 15 for sprites + 1 border). Up to 16 hardware sprites. Splitting the display into separate modes and pixel scrolling both became fully supported hardware features. SOUND: AY-3-8912 chip, 3-channel stereo, DMA for high-quality samples (with minimal processor overhead).