Turbo Esprit: September featured game
Turbo Esprit is a 3D, free roaming, race ‘n’ chase from way back in 1986. Yep, 35 years ago.
I first played Turbo Esprit on my cousin’s 48K ‘Jelly Key’ Spectrum back in 1986 and promptly bought it for my Speccy 128K soon after. I was pleased to see there was an Amstrad version available so I had to give it a shot. I’ll try not to make too many comparisons with the Speccy version, nor attempt to judge it on my previous experience of that version.
The cassette inlay offers this brief summary…
Four smugglers’ cars are meeting an armoured car carrying drugs – you must stop them and their cargo, and stop the armoured car after it has made its last drop. You score points for capturing the smugglers alive and lose points for shooting innocent motorists. Obey traffic lights, avoid road-works and watch out for pedestrian crossings.
…which pretty much sums things up. You have free roam of the city, you can change lanes, turn on to other roads and calculate routes using the inbuilt map system. There are four individual cities to choose from at the start as well as four difficulty levels, further more there’s even a practice mode.
To think all of this can fit into 64K is mind-boggling. Above all it’s the little things that really stand out. Working traffic lights, pedestrians and even barriers (In addition I have to say that on the Spectrum version there are working indicators and workmen up ladders carrying out repairs). This is one of those under-rated gems that somehow slips under the radar during the passage of time.
The only let down with Turbo Esprit, however, is it can all get a bit samey, which is unfortunate. Still, it’s a fun game and way ahead of its time.
Again, this is 1986! The buildings are well drawn, as are the smaller details. The traffic lights seem to go from red to white to white; I found that strange but it’s not like we don’t know how traffic lights work. Everything scrolls smoothly and the vehicles are well done for their time.
There’s a pleasant little theme tune which is a bit of an earworm. The sound effects are OK for what there is of them and it certainly doesn’t require a lot of sound effects for what is going on onscreen.
|Gameplay:||(4.5 / 5)|
|Graphics:||(4.0 / 5)|
|Sound:||(3.5 / 5)|
|Final Score:||(4.0 / 5)|
Publisher: Durell Software Ltd
Release Year: 1986
Genre: Arcade: Race ‘n’ Chase
System: Amstrad CPC464
“Munky” is a computer engineer with over 20 years experience. He has worked in both public and private sectors, mostly in the education sector, specialising in operating systems and mobile technology. He has carried out work for IBM, RM, Carillion, Capita, Click and Birmingham Metropolitan College as well as running his own I.T. Services business. He is a retro gaming enthusiast, especially when it comes to the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. He is a parent, a grandparent, and a bit of a child at heart.