Top-view racing was fun back in the days when Off Road was just out in the arcades. But rewing Power Drive's little Euro-hatch-backs down country roads on the Game Gear just doesn't have the same thrill.
Miss Daisy Driving
Based on Europe's popular "rally" circuit racing, you progress through eight windy and often unpaved tracks. As expected, you snag power-ups as you round the track while racing to earn the cash that helps you maintain and upgrade your vehicle.
The cars and tracks are graphically well defined. Each course scrolls smoothly for a better-than-average Game Gear look. The sound isn't quite as good. The music is that familiar techno-static heard on many Game Gear titles, so stick with the other sound option -scratchy but reliable effects.
Unfortunately, these cars leak steering fluid all over the controls. The game's simple look suggests easy maneuvering, but be prepared for the opposite. Until you learn the tricky steering patterns, you'll be stuck in Frustration City on the first track.
Up to eight players can take turns racing, and variable weather conditions add options normally not seen in Game Gear titles. Even so, Power Drive is only for those who enjoy needling with hypersensitive controls on slippery tracks.
- Use the optional directional arrows until you know each course inside out.
- Remember that ultimately you're racing against the clock, so don't get distracted by the CPU car.
- After racing, repair your tires first, then your engine. The tires are more important for steady control.
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Power Drive is an arcade racing game based around rally driving. Handbrake turns and lurid powerslides are both possible, and the steering is suitably loose.
There are 3 types of stages - individual time-trials, head-to-head races against the computer, and some skill tests. There are 8 rounds of gameplay, set across countries ranging from Sweden to Kenya. You get prize money for winning races, and it costs money to repair damage.
Power Drive is an off-road racing sim in the traditional European vein - which means compact cars, not monster trucks.