Title No Second Prize Game Type Driving Company Thalion Players 1 Compatibility All (1 meg required) Submission Angus Manwaring Profiled Reviewer Review No Second Prize is a Motorcycle racing game from the prestigous Thalion team. Unlike the Super Hang-On approach of a sprite based engine, Thalion have opted for a proper 3D racing game using polygons for everything, including the other motorcycles. “"Slick" is the word that comes to mind with this game. The 3D intro is particuarly tasty, showing a misty 3D landscape and a slow-motion drive-past of a bike that is almost ethereal. The accompanying rock based music incorporates some particuarly funky guitar, and compliments the visuals very nicely. A mouse click takes you into the first game screen, where you are presented with various options including entering a Championship, Practice, or loading saved games. From here you can go to the character selection screen where you can choose from several people of different nationalities; each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Some are very fast, but not so good at cornering, some are good all-rounders etc, etc. You are also given a choice of Manual or Automatic transmission, and mouse sensitivity. Here again, within the Option screens, the music is very nicely done. It's a fairly in-your-face rock riff, but it's broken up with a gentler groove piece very reminiscent of the Dutch seventies rock giants, Focus. Mmmmmmm, nice! This brings us to the racing itself, and may I just point out, that if you have someone available who is not used to using a mouse, now is the time to enjoy watching them play a game. As mentioned you can select the mouse sensitivity but even on the lowest setting, some people have great difficulty controlling the bike, and it`s great fun watching them continually over-correct, and swinging across the road from one grass area to another, making very little headway. Highly amusing. If you are used to a mouse though, the control is very good, and you can slide past the other bikes in a very satisfying way. As for your surroundings, the 3D landscape is essentially flat, but from time to time the track goes down into a slight dip, or over a small hump. It also has a few nicely constructed vehicles and buildings placed around the track. These are not just for scenery; you can drive around them, and colliding with them will have consequences. Actually, the 3D landscape engine appears to be roughly equivalent to the one used in “Frontier”. Both you, the rider, and your bike can sustain a certain amount of damage, and an amusing point is that if you collide square-on with a building at perhaps 300 kph, you`ll be presented with the message "YOU TOTALLY CRASHED!"” written across the screen. Well, I liked it. This can happen if you pay too much attention to the map which appears in the top left corner of your display, showing the track and the position of the important competitors; a very useful addition, providing you keep an eye on the road. There are also some fairly extensive replay facilities, giving you the option of reliving your mistakes and successes from several viewpoints. A TV helicopter continually tracks the rider in first place, and you`ll see this from time to time ......or not. No Second Prize is a very good effort and difficult to fault. What has been done, has been done with style and skill, but possibly a little more variety would have been nice in the topographical design of the tracks. It`s a lovely little game though, and I was very impressed, although it`s a non-dos disk, it slots into my 060 1200 and runs with no problems at all. Good old Thalion.