This was not the flashback I had planned to do I wanted to do the Simpsons Virtual Springfield but no matter what I tried in a win95‚ 98 and NT machine I just kept getting errors I will probably come back it to it once I figure out how to fix the error.
but for now i am going to flashback to a game from my childhood and one I remember well having it on the amiga Lotus the ultimate challenge of course i aslo had a bootleg copy of lotus II – Turbo challenge.
Turbo Challenge is long out of print as it was released in the 90’s and physical copies are getting hard to find now on pc in dos format especially boxed‚ Amiga versions are not so bad you can get them via ebay but prices are skyrocketing like so much Amiga stuff‚ I have seen copies of lotus II as high as £50.00 putting it on par with games like Jurassic World Evolution and games like Forza Horizon. So if you already have it look after it its getting valuable.
Nothing out of ordinary in terms of gameplay its a racing game with 2 modes time attack and championship mode in time attack its literally that get around the track and the other cars before the timer runs out and championship mode is a little more in depth as you are racing to win instead of time and you have to refuel or you wont make the end of the race which is usually 3 laps. Nothing overly exciting in that nowadays as games like Asetto Corsa‚ Dirt‚ Gran Turismo all do the same but back in the 90’s this was cool and I remember playing lotus III alot on a tv.
Its easy to see how graphics have improved since this game came out and yeah lotus does not look as good as it once did but there’s just something i still find undeniably charming about the blocky car graphics and sign posts with fuel pumps on them which in a few years time will be even more nosaligic as we move into a fuel free future with cars on electric and self driving tech quite freaky that the film 6th day showed this realistically with the likes of vw’s and chevy’s rather than fictional futurstic cars like in blade runner or back to the future part II way back in the early 2000’s.
I still love the simplistic menu system lotus III had there was no graphics quality pages‚ no vysnc settings and no advanced GPU settings its just simple and does exactly what it needs to.
RECS was a nice feature in Lotus III of course track design was nothing new there had been games on the Atari 8 bit machines and others that could do it and RECS was cool but pretty basic but it was capable and it added life to the game and increased its replayablity but tracks did looking at it now start to feel a bit samey after using all the options but as a kid i did not care it was cool.
Lotus III does pretty well here actually even now with the track maker and the ability to choose a different car to race with from the Elan‚ Prototype M200 which never saw production I sort of agree with some of the comments about it becoming quite samey but to a point because there just is not a huge amount you can do with 720k floppy which is how this game was mostly released until the later releases on cartridge which had a bit more wiggle room as they usually packed in a little more space.
Lotus Had a really good soundtrack for its time it wont stack up 100% now to the likes of the highly advanced and tuned soundtrack in Forza Horizon 4 which is just superb but never the less its a nice thing in the game and choosing from a realistic looking radio was just cool its a little hard to know who had this idea first Core with XJ220 or Magnetic fields with Lotus but its likely they both had the same idea.
Lotus III will always have a special place to me as it was game I played to death as I was growing up and its going to continue to get more valuable as remaining copies of it are hunted down by collectors I can see in a few more years this hitting triple figures in some places. but it will be seen as a old racing game and hold no real interest for the phone generation & tablet generation which is sad but this game helped lotus to sell cars in the 90’s and that’s a great thing.
Until next time