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The random ramblings of a Star Trek-obsessed schools ICT Systems Manager who likes a good moan.
This is a place where I can whinge about life, and express my love of my family, 80's music, retro computer gaming (especially on my Commodore 64),
 oh and Star Trek. I'm very open with my opinions and I like a good moan. If you don't like what I say, then you might want to consider not reading this blog.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Games that remind me of my childhood Number 18 : Formula One Grand Prix (Commodore Amiga)

If I can blame my below average GCSE results on someone (other than myself), then it would have to be Geoff Crammond.  Why I hear you ask?  Because he made the amazing Formula One Grand Prix on the Commodore Amiga!

For my first Amiga game that reminds me of my childhood, I bring you this wonderful title, from the creator of some of my favourite Commodore 64 games (namely, The Sentinel, and Stunt Car Racer).

Riding at the back of the pack with Stuart Wilson!
During study leave at school, I spent countless hours playing this with my friend Philip when I should have been revising for my exams.  It was without a doubt one of the best, and most realistic racing games on the Amiga, featuring detailed and very fast polygon graphics.  In fact, the game ran amazingly fast on a stock A500, although later on I was lucky enough to get a GVP A530 Turbo accelerator, turning my Amiga 500 from 7mhz into 40mhz.  This game ran super fast! 

Customise your racers and teams.
Featuring the sixteen grand prix tracks from the 1991 Grand Prix season, the game was not officially affiliated with the FiA which means that although the car liveries and driver helmets were accurate, none of the drivers were real people and were all fictional.  This was great though because the game gave you the option of naming the drivers and teams yourself.  We had great fun naming the racers after people at school, or famous celebrities.

Each track has an excellent image which you can view and plan your race

Along with practice mode, qualifying and single races, players could also take part in a full season.  The game did allow for more than one player using a unique system that allowed each player to play on their own before the computer took over the car, thus allowing the next person to take control of their car.  A novel idea, but very annoying if your car crashed or span out of control when under control from the computer!

Spinning out of control

F1GP (as it was known) also had to ability to play the game from different camera angles – a feature not seen in many racing games on the Amiga.  Interior and external views were available, and trackside cameras were positioned around the track so that replays could be viewed from almost any angle.  All great stuff.

About to overtake.
The game was simple to get in to thanks to some great features including “brake assistance”, “steering help”, “damage on/off” and “throttle assistance”.  These could be enabled or disabled using the function keys.  Some of these made the game too easy, but at least the option was there to turn them off for a much tougher experience.

View from behind - note the white 'guide' lines on the road.  These could be turned off.
I love this game.  I’m not really that interested in Formula One racing, but this game was fantastic.  Geoff Crammond made several sequels after this, and although graphically they are far superior, the original was and always will be the best. 

External view
AND, it was always fun to race round the track the wrong way, smashing in to the computer controlled cars.  Once they had all been smashed and taken out of the race, I could then turn around and finish the race, knowing I would win because I was the only car on the track!

The famous Monaco track, in all its polygonal beauty.

The box

The box

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