Virtual Karts

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a game by Microprose
Platform: PC (1995)
Editor Rating: 6/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Racing Games

Here's a quick screenplay doofer in which a punter wanders into a computer store, and... well, you'll find out soon enough.

Scene One

A punter is standing by the PC games shelf, looking intently at the back of a box he's holding. Cue subdued chatter in the background. The camera is ever-so-slowly zooming in on his face. He's thinking to himself, so his 'speech' sounds slightly reverby.

Punter (Thinking) Wow, these screenshots look pretty neat. This looks as detailed as IndyCar 2. Oh look, that bridge has the word MicroProse plastered all over it. Is this a MicroProse game then? (He flips the box, finds that indeed it is, and then continues to think.) Well, F1GP2 isn't here, and karts are just as much fun as racing cars. More, in a way, 'cos you can really slide them. Hey! You can change tyres and stuff. This is a real sim! Yes! Yes!'

Scene Two

The camera looks down from above as the punter hands his cash to the shop assistant,who slides the Virtual Karts box and a receipt into a carrier bag. Assistant: There you go, mate.

Punter Cheers. I'm really looking forward to this. See ya!

Assistant: No worries. Take it easy, yeah?

A steadycam follows the punter through the door, homeward bound. Slow-slow fade to black. Night-time sounds occur, for about seven seconds.

Scene Three

The camera is now outside the shop, looking at the door from a distance. Slow-slow fade up from black... it's the next morning. A distant clock dings ten times as we witness the punter striding along the pavement. On the final chime, the camera moves inside the shop, above the counter again. The punter enters the shop and approaches an assistant. There is a brief but loaded pause. Then...

Assistant: Yes? Can I help?

Punter: Er, yes, you can. I bought this game yesterday... er, as a present for someone... er, but he's already got it.

Assistant: I remember you. But I also seem to remember you saying, Tm really looking forward to this", just before you left the shop.

Punter: Did I? Oh... um, I just meant K was really looking forward to, er, giving it as a present... to my, er, cousin. He's, erm, he's got leukaemia, you see. He's only nine. No, six, in fact! White as a ghost. No hair. Continual pain and agony. Colostomy bag. And his parents were killed last week, in, um, a balloon crash. It's tragic. So, er, can you, er, you know... can I like swap it?

Assistant: No.

So the game's crap then?

To say that Virtual Karts is complete crap would be unfair - it's just that it's not particularly good, that's all. There are three types of kart on offer, 12 pretty samey tracks, and the tried and tested single race or season options. Oh, and eight-player networking's possible, so thumbs up there. But the karts don't really handle much like karts, the hires graphics are jerk-tastic, and things aren't exactly ultra-smooth even in vga (and that's on a P75, to boot). As well as that, playing from the CD (a full install costs you 80 megs or so), the accessing pauses are phenomenal - it's as if you're downloading video from the Net! (Yup, we're talking half a cigarette per track here, on a quad-speed drive.)

And to compound all this. Virtual Karts is too bloody easy. Using a really shit joystick, and not knowing any of the tracks, I managed to win the Full Season on my first go, which took about an hour and a half, including the cd accessing time. So now you know why the punter in the screenplay took his copy of Virtual Karts back to the shop. Actually, let's have a happy ending: I'll change the last bit of Scene Three.

Punter: ...And his parents were killed last week, in, um, a balloon crash. It's tragic. So, er, can you, er, you know... can I like swap it?

Assistant: Yes.

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System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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