Title Powerdrome Publisher Electronic Arts Game Type Racing Players 1 - 2 (null-modem link up) HD Installable Jeff's Patch - aminet:game/patch/pdromehd.lha Compatability All (newer Amigas may need the above patch) Submission Dennis Smith Profiled Reviewer Review Way back when this game was released, before I even had an Amiga, I read the review in Zzap! with real excitement - here was the next generation of gaming, a proper space-age race game, a new Stunt Car Racer. This game was one of the first ones that made me realise that it was soon time to ditch the old C64 in favour of the new 16-bit technology - and all without having ever seen it except in screenshots. The premise is a great one. Guide your sleek new racing machine round one of half a dozen tracks on different planets, overtaking experienced competitors by flying to the left, right or even over and under them, while staying within the walls of the track. The vehicles are finely tunable to suit your driving taste and the different tracks' styles. A variable amount of self-centring can be chosen at the expense of speed to aid you in getting round the corners. Different filters for different atmospheres which may need changing in the event of a storm. When Father Christmas finally brought an A500, I always kept one eye out for Powerdrome but never found it. Only recently, ten years after its release, was I able to get my hands on a copy with Angus' help. (Thanks Angus!) And that's where the disappointment starts and never lets up. With Jeff Fabre's patch, the game is still playable on modern machines (albeit suffering from over-eager key-repeat). But when I say playable, I mean the game loads up and behaves how it was intended to. And faster processors no doubt help. But controlling the craft is, well, a bit of a nightmare. I vaguely remember Zzap's reviewers expressing fears about how hard it was to get good at the game, and now I got to find for myself - the third dimension that seemed so exciting to a me when I was fourteen is a bit of a killer. Steering left and right isn't so bad, but the craft has a tendency to pitch like a toy boat in a thunderstorm. Controlling the pitching, even at its lowest sensitivity setting, is nearly impossible except at low speeds. Not good for a race game. You'd have thought, given the reasonably tight limits on altitude that the game imposes, that the craft would automatically level off. But no, you have to do it yourself, the mouse control is not at all smooth, and you can easily spend the whole lap bouncing between floor and ceiling like a demented dolphin. Try as I might, I can't get to grips with this thing. Apparently, once you do get used to it, there's a great race game in here, terribly dated though it is nowadays. I don't have the time or energy to persevere with this, though, so all I can say to you is dig out your PS or PC and play Wipeout instead (or get Wipeout 2097 on your PPC Amiga). Wipeout looks to have been inspired by Powerdrome, but Psygnosis had the wit to remove that third dimension, and you'll find that game child's play compared to Powerdrome; Wipeout is the game Powerdrome should have been.