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 during 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 The Atari ST version features fast scrolling while the backgrounds are nicely drawn too but there are some details missing compared to the Amiga and PC versions. Still, the game looks decent and uses 16+ colors on screen! The game recycles most of the graphics from Lotus 2, with some added new race tracks. The game also features an array of 3-channel chip tune soundtracks to choose during gameplay (by selecting one from the car's hi-fi) or you can also choose to have sound FX only.
In-game music sample:
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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).