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Game info

Grand Prix Circuit

Grand Prix Circuit
GenreRacing Sim
Reviewed byndial
Grand Prix Circuit is a Formula One racing game released in 1988 by Accolade for the Commodore Amiga, Apple IIGS, Macintosh (Classic), Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, PC (DOS) and ZX Spectrum.
Grand Prix CircuitSTORY / GAMEPLAY
You are a Formula 1 pilot and you drive your car (through dashboard view) as you thunder rounds at speeds of over 200mph (well, OK it doesn't give that feeling actually). It is well advised to select the novice level for the first few attempts, as it is not that easy to handle the car at that speed (plus that at this level the other drivers treat you softly and the gearbox is set to automatic). The game allows you to either practice, single race or compete in a championship in which you race circuits. There are eight tracks in Grand Prix Circuit all from different countries. Every race allows for one qualify lap to determine pole position. The length of each race is determined by you and can go up to a max of 99 laps (!). During the race there is a small map of the entire circuit in the top left corner. In a long race, your position will probably be effected by the need to make at least one pit-stop to change all your tires! The AI is great, and the computer controlled drivers have different driving styles, and are hard sometimes to overtake during a race. Also, each car has different behavior. Yes, prior to any race you can choose among some pretty famous teams and their models such as McLaren, Williams and Ferrari. Grand Prix Circuit is a pretty good driving thanks to the creators of the famous Test Drive series.

As in all other 16bit versions, the Amiga graphics do not give a great impression, especially when speed comes in. Surely (and much like the Test Drive series) you will not get the feeling of driving at 200mph with a McLaren, but the game is a great simulation in all other terms. The cars are nicely designed and handled well on tracks. The dashboards aren't quite as detailed (well the Test Drive series offer pretty impressive car-interiors though). Some other visual details, such as the black smoke when pushing your tires or when nudging too hard an opponent, your hood crumples and the opponent spins out in a full 360 degrees with a really nice effect. The Amiga version runs also in 16 colors during racing but with up to 32 colors on the main-menu and static screens (in contrast to the other versions that run in 16 colors). Note that the Apple IIGS version runs smoother when racing and it's more playable.As far as the sound, it does a great job, offering sampled engine throttles and the like. Of course there are several menu tunes as well.
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Intro/Menu music:  In-game music sample:
Comparable platforms

16 colors
Apple IIGS

16 colors
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS

2 colors
Apple Macintosh 68k

16 colors
Hardware information

Amiga 500/500+

Amiga 500/500+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
The Amiga 500/500+ (default) color palette
12bit RGB 4096-colors palette
(32 to 4096 colors on screen)
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