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Game info

Rally II

Rally II
GenreArcade Racing
Reviewed byndial
Rally II is an early racing game released only for the Amstrad CPC computers. The game was also released as Grand Prix Rally II, by Amsoft. It's a Pole Position alternative and adds a unique feature in editing the tracks.
Rally II is a racing game where you have to do the obvious: Race to win! The game's circuits are divided into 10 different stages that include mountains, a bridge, a desert as well as night driving. It is a time-limited racer so all you need to do is finish the track before the time ends. You need to be careful to avoid crashing with other drivers that come in the opposite direction or by not getting at the edge of the track especially at the bridge stage, otherwise you car will explode instantly and will cost precious time.
Your car accelerates automatically and you only have to steer it left or right and hit the brakes (by pressing the fire-button) when needed. There are two different bars on the top side of your screen. The first bar (T) shows the time left and the second one (L) shows the distance you need to cover, to finish the track.
A unique (for its era) feature of the game is that you can edit and create your own tracks and save them into your CPC media. This only allows you to edit some basic stuff such as defining the type of terrain, the length of the track, the inclination of each turn (!). That's pretty impressive if we consider that this is a 1985 racing game for an 8bit home computer!
Overall, Rally II is a cool game, though a bit repetitive. The point that you do not control the acceleration of your car rather than steering it (and hitting the brakes), is rather a simple but yet awkward way to play a racing game. Other than that, the game is colorful, fast with good sound and the unique feature of track making.

The game's visuals are good for its time, offering up to 10 colors on screen and running in a fast color-cycling mode, a quite favorable technique back in the days. Rally II's sound and music are similarly effective. The sound effects consist of the standard engine and a boom type explosive noise when crashing, while there is a nice introductory tune, as well as a few short sounds in-between the stages.
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Gameplay sample
Hardware information

Amstrad CPC 464/664/6128

Amstrad CPC 464/664/6128CPU: ZiLOG Z80 4MHZ
MEMORY: 64 KB or 128 KB of RAM depending on the model (capable of being expanded to 512k using memory extension boards)
GRAPHICS: Motorola 6845 address generator, Mode 0: 160x200 / 16 colors, Mode 1: 320x200 / 4 colors, Mode 2: 640x200 / 2 colors, A colour palette of 27 colors was supported
SOUND: The CPC used the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound chip, providing 3 channels Mono Sound (via internal speaker) but capable to offer Stereo Sound provided through a 3.5 mm headphones jack (with pretty impressive outcome!). Also, it is possible to play back digital sound samples at a resolution of approximately 5bit. This technique is very processor-intensive though.
The Amstrad CPC 464/664/6128 (default) color palette
RGB 27-colors palette (16 on screen)
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