Remember "Super Sprint" ? It was a great success in 1986, an arcade game by Atari featuring 4 little cars racing on a small circuit. Nothing special, but the game was fun and I've spent a lot of coins on this one when I was a kid. Later, two clones of this game were released; "Ivan "Iron man" Stewart's off road challenge" (couldn't they just call it "Ironman", to make things simple ?) and "Badlands", very similar to Super Sprint but set in a post - nuclear background...
Quite good and smooth, even if there's little or no scrolling. Both "Super Sprint" and "Badlands" feature single - screen circuits, and so all you have to do is drive your sprite around the screen following the track. Anyway, this isn't a real problem, and there are 8 different tracks to see.
No digital FX, sorry... just plain chip music by Matt Furniss, but it's not bad considering its limitations. A few decent tunes and some "vroom vroom, bang bang" FX. Nothing more.
Well, to be honest, the arcade conversion was made by Tengen - Domark, the infamous duo who released games such as "S.T.U.N. Runner", "Hard Drivin'" and "Hydra", some of the greatest loads of bullsh*t in gaming history, but this one ain't that bad. It's not only quite good to see, it's also quite playable.
And it shows many improvements from the original "Super Sprint" game; this time it's not just a matter of being faster than your opponents, you can also fire bullets at them, avoid snipers and slippery oil puddles, pass through gates, jump across broken bridges and so on... nothing special, but it does provide a better challenge.
Of course, you can also improve your cars. Try to collect as many wrenches as you can; after the race, you'll be able to spend them and improve your car with better tyres, top speed, acceleration...
And what after you've completed all the 8 levels ? Well, you start back from the first track, but this time your opponents are much tougher, there are more obstacles and you race in the opposite direction. Honestly, this shortens lastability quite a lot; I would have prefered less graphical variety but more tracks, as in "Supercars II" or "Nitro". Anyway, this is still a faithful conversion of the original arcade game.
This game is good, very good for a few hours. Then, after completing all the circuits twice, you'll quickly lose interest... but it's still worth a try.
Graphics : 6
Sound : 6
Gameplay : 6
Overall : 6