Al Unser Jr. Arcade Racing
Windows 95 has arrived (bloody hell, he's off already! - Ed) and with it come the first games designed specifically to run under it. So far it's not looking too good - we've got Pitfall from Activision (reviewed on page 89), which is an okayish platformer but nothing particularly special. Fury 3 is on the way from Microsoft and although it looks very pretty it's basically an alternative version of Terminal Velocity - and let's face it, we've seen it all before. And then of course there's Mindscape joining in the fun with A! Unser Junior, a new racing game which takes full advantage of Microsoft's new operating system.
My first impression of the game when I loaded it up was that it looked a bit, er, basic - it certainly won't be rivalling MicroProse's FGP12 in the graphics department. However, Mindscape is promoting AI Unser as a simple arcade game, so presumably the lack of graphic detail is down to the fact that fast, exhilarating action takes priority.
Well, it's certainly fast
By the time you reach top gear you're whizzing around the tracks, skidding all over the place and bumping into lots of other cars (if you're crap like me, that is) and generally going completely out of control. In my defence however, the steering is a tad too sensitive; move the wheel at high speeds and you'll find yourself careering wildly off the track and coming a cropper. This is something I thought I'd get used to after a while, but even after repeated play I didn't feel any more comfortable with it. I suspected it might just be my inferior gameplaying skills, so I got some of the office bods to have a go and they all had the same problem. It's a pain, but it's not the end of the world.
Despite the slightly dodgy control system, playing Al Unser gives you quite a few laughs for a couple of hours, and it has all the features you'd expect from a racing game: a choice of cars, 15 racing circuits to zoom around on to your heart's content, ten drivers to compete with and three difficulty levels. It also has the added distinction of sporting the name of AI Unser who, of course, is a 'legendary Indianapolis 500 winner'.
Unfortunately, at the end of the day Al Unser simply doesn't have sufficient fun factor to keep you coming back for more. So, the great Windows 95 games phenomenon (that's it, one more time and you're sacked - Ed) has so far been a something of an anti-climax. However, if you really want to see what Mindscape can do with Windows 95 (bye bye - Ed), hold out for the release of Warhammer which, from what I've seen of the Beta version, looks rather stunning.
Download Al Unser Jr. Arcade Racing
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP