Test Drive II is the successor of the infamous Test Drive from Accolade. It was initially developed for the Amiga in 1989 and ported to several 8 and 16 bit home computers and game-consoles, including Apple IIGS, Atari ST, MS-DOS, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and many others.
STORY / GAMEPLAY Test Drive II is one of the best driving games (in first-person perspective) the 16bits shown back in 1989. Your main goal is to beat the opponent by choosing a supercar, either the Porsche 959 or the Ferrari F40. You must reach the next checkpoint accomplishing better times than your opponent while you must also be careful of the incoming traffic and the police patrols. You have five lives to complete the selected track. Crash, run out of gas or blow your engine up and you'll lose a life instantly plus a time penalty. Accolade have also created various mission disks, with more cars and more levels available to enrich the game.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The PC MS-DOS version offers good visuals with up to 16 colors on-screen (as the Apple IIGS version). The perspective is from inside the car and is presented with impressive details that prompt to reality. All indications from gear shifting to torque changing are shown in a realistic way. The surroundings are pretty decent, with cars on or opposite your way, trees, mountains etc. Comparably, the PC version cannot compete the ST and Amiga as Test Drive II looks way better in terms of colors and details mainly because of the ST's and Amiga's advanced color palette and graphics hardware (note that the MS-DOS version runs only on EGA which features 16 colors in-total). Soundwise, the game does not offer any sampled ambient or engine sounds as found on the Amiga, Apple IIGS and Atari ST. Nevertheless, I liked the PC's sound, which makes the game quite impressive.
In-game music sample:
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
CPU: Various processors from Intel,AMD, Cyrix, varying from 4.77Mhz (Intel 8088) to 200Mhz (Pentium MMX) and up to 1995 (available on this site) MEMORY: 640Kb to 32MB RAM (typical up to 1996) GRAPHICS: VGA standard palette has 256 colors and supports: 640x480 (16 colors or monochrome), 640x350 in 16 colors (EGA compatability mode), 320x200 (16 or 256 colors). Later models (SVGA) featured 18bit color palette (262,144-color) or 24bit (16Milion colors), various graphics chips supporting hardware acceleration mainly for 3D-based graphics routines. SOUND: 8 to 16 bit sound cards: Ad-Lib featuring Yamaha YMF262 supporting FM synthesis and (OPL3) and 12-bit digital PCM stereo, Sound Blaster and compatibles supporting Dynamic Wavetable Synthesis, 16-bit CD-quality digital audio sampling, internal memory up to 4MB audio channels varying from 8 to 64! etc. Other notable sound hardware is the release of Gravis Ultrasound with outstanding features!