I Always Find it bizarre that futuristic racers whizz by at such ridiculous speeds - if current traffic trends continue, we'll be able to crawl on our hands and knees faster than most vehicles in about ten years time. However, Powerdrome is the latest of this increasingly niche genre to hit the PC, having originally been an Atari/ Amiga game back in 1989 and a remake on consoles just last year.
And what do you know, it's actually not bad. Powerdrome definitely has the feel of a desperate F-Zero copy about it, but by god, I've played worse. Ignoring the usual nonsense about collapsed civilisations and illegal racing syndicates, the game involves belting around the tracks in fastmoving Hover-ships called blades, taking part in time trials, various championships and other challenges.
You have a choice of 12 different characters, including cliched playboy types, decommissioned war robots and flappy-eared aliens. Each possesses a racing craft with a unique combination of stats for top speed, armour and so on. There's no room for customisation though, so you're stuck with the basic designs -definitely a trick missed.
With no weapons available either, you win races by learning the twisty-turny tracks, and using your blade's ability to turbo boost - frenetic power-ups that are gained by hitting maximum speed for a couple of seconds. With up to three boosts available, you can link these together for extreme velocity, and also use them to ram into opponents, smashing them out of the way and causing fiery damage to their blade.
Initial doubts about Powerdrome are soon replaced with a slow creeping realisation that you might be actually enjoying yourself - the determination to win races increasing as you realise that victory unlocks more new tracks, characters and events. The visuals aren't great, but the impacts during battles with the Al ships or friends across a LAN do get the heart racing a bit faster.
Unfortunately, there's really no comparison between Powerdrome and the vastly-superior recent console racers, such as F-Zero GX on the GameCube, but this futuristic blast from the past remains a half-decent waste of a weekend.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP