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International Karate + - Commodore64
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Turrican II - PC
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Game info

Test Drive

Test Drive
GenreRacing Sim
DeveloperDistinctive Software
Reviewed byndial
Test Drive is a racing simulator developed by Distinctive Software and published by Accolade in 1987 for the Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, and in 1988 for the Apple II. With this game, it didn't matter the driving simulation itself as it was relatively boring. What really mattered was the excitement at sitting in the driving seat of a few of the most exotic cars back in the days, with nicely detailed and resembled dashboards!
You've got five cars to choose from: Porsche 911, Ferrari Testarossa, Lamborghini Countach, Lotus Esprit and a Chevrolet Corvette. When you've made your decision you're placed behind the wheel and have to drive the car through five stages along a winding mountainous road. Your view of the game is as if you were in the driving seat of the car looking through the windscreen. The road has a sheer drop on the left and a solid, steep bank on the right. Not only are you trying to keep your car on the road and in the right lane, but you also have to contend with on-coming traffic, Sunday drivers and the ... police. The local police are well aware that some people use this particular road to test fast cars and so they're always waiting with their radar guns to trap the unwary speedster (that is you). Should you get caught in the radar speed trap (attached in your sun visor), you have to decide whether to try and outrun the cops or pull over and pick up a speeding ticket.
Control of the car involves pushing the joystick or keys forward to accelerate, back to brake and left-right to steer. Pressing fire normally changes gear (but you can choose automatic too) and you have then to move the joystick as if it were the gear stick up or down to change gears. Note that, if you reach the maximum of your car engine's RPM, the engine blow up (thus losing one life) and getting your windscreen broken too. Also note that, each car performs differently (this is why the game offers pretty nicely detailed information of each car at the main menu), so once you've become familiar with one car, you can try and master another.
Test Drive was an innovation back in the days, especially for the excitement at sitting in front of a steering wheel of a famous sports-car, resembling in high detail its real dashboard too, and it didn't matter the driving simulation itself.

Although it only supports EGA or CGA display modes, the graphics are generally of a high quality, with each car's interior being particularly well drawn. Scrolling is a bit on the poor side though as the on-coming traffic tends to move rather jerkily. The sound is fine (specially on the Amiga and ST versions offering sampled sound effects), with screeches and whining engines throughout.
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Gameplay sample
Comparable platforms

11 colors

29 colors
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS

19 colors
Atari ST
Hardware information

PC (ms-dos based)

PC (ms-dos based)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!
The PC (ms-dos based) (default) color palette
CGA: 16-color palette (4 on-screen)
EGA: 64-color palette (16 on-screen)
VGA: 256-color palette (256 on-screen)
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