Ok, that’s weird. I clearly remember playing that game in the late 80’s and not really liking it. Don’t get me wrong, I always thought it was a technical masterpiece for its time, but never understood people praising it as the best thing since sliced bread.
Until today. I don’t know what happened in those 25 years I haven’t played it, but after having a go at it again after two and a half decades I finally understood. Well, I’m still not saying it’s one of the best games ever. No, it does have it’s fair share of flaws, but I experienced something I never experienced before while playing it: Fun.
Now, the gameplay is always the same: Choose between one of five cars and take it for a ride, while avoiding traffic and, occasionally, cops. There’s only one track and the scenery won’t change at all. Have a look at the image to the right, that’s how it looks the whole time you’re on the road.
The track itself is divided into several stages, represented by stops at a petrol station. And as mentioned above, it’s not only the traffic you have to worry about, but there’s a chance a police car will chase you down should you be driving too fast.
The whole game can be completed within 20 minutes, and when you successfully reach the end of the track you can keep the car you were driving.
And if you want to see me bumping into cars and almost falling off a cliff, watch the video below.
I still can’t explain why all of a sudden I started to like it. Back in the day I thought it was a bit bland, driving down the same road over and over again. Plus, the loading times almost killed it for me. And while the graphics where relatively fast for a 3D game on the C64, I never played it that much back then.
Well, it’s certainly not a game I could play for hours, but I now appreciate it way more than I did in the late 80’s.
Title: Test Drive | Developer: Distinctive Software | Publisher: Accolade
Year: 1987 | Also available on: Amiga, Atari ST, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, DOS