Car Wars
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5  |  Car Wars Review (TI-99/4a)
Ditto , 8/29/2003 7:03:53 AM

Car WarsI tried to think of an interesting story line for Car Wars. I’m playing the game and I’m thinking, “Ok. I’m in this little car. I’m driving around in circles picking up dots. There’s some maniac driving at break neck speeds coming from the opposite direction trying to catch me in a head-on collision. Why?” When I started writing this I actually didn’t have any clue. I just now decided that the whole concept is just about repetitive and creepy enough to make a good low budget nightmare. It seems like just the sort of dream that sits there and repeats itself over and over again until you quit hitting the snooze alarm and finally get out of bed. Of course, if you think about it some, it has some similar game concepts as the Driver series or parts of Grand Theft Auto, just without the story line.

So what is Car Wars? For starters, you have four, square shaped, lanes that loop around each other in ninety-degree angles. Those five lanes are cut across both ways to provide a short lane change opening. Then there are dots every car length in every lane, excluding the openings for lane changes. Your goal is to get all the dots, which isn’t too bad. You don’t have to worry about hitting the walls. There is no finesse required to making those sharp turns without slowing down or squealing the tires. The car just goes where you point it. The crux is that lunatic in the yellow car. His sole purpose is to hit you head on. He just loves it. He has the best air bag on the market, a garage full of cars, full coverage, and a plane ticket to Mexico. You’re going down. That little yellow car is just itching to get you. Unfortunately, you only have three cars, and your insurance has been cancelled because of your addiction to little colored dots.

Car WarsWhen it comes to ranking the different aspects of Car Wars I really have no comparison to work with. I never owned a TI-99/4a (4/4a/8) until recently and Car Wars is the only game I have to play for it. I find it rather repetitive. I can see playing it in a group type setting with four or five people all swapping turns. I never can play it more than a handful of times by myself before wandering off to something else. For one, it’s harder than it looks, making it somewhat frustrating. There were better games released than this one in 1981. The graphics were average and the sound was nothing special. I also found the white background to be a bit hard on the eyes. At the same time, it does have some appeal to it. It is challenging. Usually, when you do crash, it is instantly obvious what you did wrong which makes you want to give it another shot to do it right. Plus, it is just hard enough to get you really riled up to want to prove that you can finish a level, or two, or whatever your record is.

I give it a 5.

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