Test Drive 2 - The Duel is the sequel to the first Test Drive developed by Accolade. This game was initially released in 1989 for the Amiga 500 and later ported to several 8 and 16bits home computers and video games consoles, including Apple IIGS, MS-DOS, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and more. The Atari ST version was developed in 1990.
STORY / GAMEPLAY Test Drive II - The Duel is a racing game so there's no actual story here. Your main goal is to beat your opponent into a one-on-one race. You select a supercar -either a Porsche 959 or a Ferrari F40- and you just hit the gas and race as fast as you can. You must reach every checkpoint before time and fuel run out and -of course- faster than your opponent. In the meantime, you must watch for any incoming traffic and any police APBs which are deployed every time you exceed the speed limits. Accolade developed some additional mission discs featuring more cars available and more levels to race! Note that the game runs only on the 1040 or the expanded 520 models (it needs 1MB RAM to run).
GRAPHICS / SOUND Test Drive II, is fantastic. The camera sets you inside the car's dashboard (which is greatly detailed and feels like a real Ferrari or a Porsche)! All car's indications, from gear shifting to speeding up are presented in a realistic animated way. The game's backgrounds are very good, with cars passing on or opposite your way, forests, mountains, tunnels, several road-signs, detailed gas stops etc. The game's scrolling is quite fast considering the limitations of the 68000 CPU to move 3D objects. The Atari ST version looks (and sounds) better compared to the Apple IIGS and MS-DOS versions (both using up to 16 colors on screen) and can be compared only to the Amiga version. Note that the ST version uses more colors on screen than its default palette allows and this is a very impressive feature. The game's sound is fully sampled with real car engine sound effects and many more ambient sounds like braking, police sirens, car crashing and more. The ST version is almost identical to the Amiga in terms of graphics and sampled sounds (though the intro tune is of lower sampling quality). Overall, every Atari ST user should try this game for sure!
In-game music sample:
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit at 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus. MEMORY: RAM 512KB (1MB for the 1040ST models) / ROM 192KB GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 9-bit RGB palette (512 colors), 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). With special programming techniques could display 512 colors on screen in static images. SOUND: Yamaha YM2149F PSG "Programmable Sound Generator" chip provided 3-voice sound synthesis, plus 1-voice white noise mono PSG. It also has two MIDI ports, and support mixed YM2149 sfx and MIDI music in gaming (there are several games supported this).