Wednesday 3 August 2016

Indy 500 (Tiger review)

Developer: Tiger Electronics
Publisher: Tiger Electronics
Released: 1997

Indy 500 is a racing game that was first released in the Arcades by Sega in 1995.

Your goal is to beat 32 other drivers in order to win the prestigious race. There's three cars to choose from (that have different attributes in terms of Acceleration, Grip and Top Speed) but only one race track compared to the Arcades three. Other options include the ability to change weather conditions (Sunny or Rain) and transmission type (Automatic or Manual), but the coolest feature is the choice of a first or third-person viewpoint. To start, you must complete a Time Trial over four laps to see where you place in the main event. The steering controls are hideous and range from too sensitive to completely unresponsive. Once the main race starts and other vehicles appear it results in utter chaos. The track is wide enough to fit three cars but it feels very claustrophobic; that's mainly due to the crap collision detection that makes it tough to judge your vehicle's spatial distance in relation to walls and cars. Coupled with the shockingly low frame-rate, it's impossible to get into a flow as every few seconds you'll end up crashing, despite there being clear distance between you and the object. Enemy A.I. is also brutal and cars seem to have a habit of swerving directing into your line of sight. While I like that your car can take damage (which affects your top speed) you'll quickly tire of having to pit for repairs after so many unfair collisions. After you've completed the race (which lasts 5-10 minutes) there's literally nothing else to do; there's also no music and infrequent SFX so it's devoid of atmosphere.
Indy 500 is a very loose interpretation of Sega's Arcade racer without any of the fun or intensity, and it's pretty much an unplayable mess. It literally has minutes of gameplay, along with barebones content and shocking controls, and overall it's one of the worst driving games I've ever played.
Random trivia: The game was also ported to the Tiger R-Zone handheld in 1996.

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