E-Type, Archimedes

E-Type is an impressive Out Run-style racing game on the Acorn Archimedes where you drive out across various courses with the objective being: to cover as much distance as possible before the timer runs out. You can earn extra time by passing checkpoints and can play the game with either automatic or manual transmission.

On the Archimedes the car is controlled using the mouse, with the three mouse buttons used for (left to right) clutch, brake and accelerator.

One thing to note is that E-Type, running in an emulator on a modern PC, will probably run way too fast, so you’ll have to clock down to get the game running at a playable speed. When I first tried E-Type I couldn’t believe how fast it was. It was only after slowing the emulator down did I manage to get a reasonable game out of it. This YouTube video shows the game running as intended.

Once you do have the game running properly, and have the controls set up right, you might be surprised by just how good E-Type is. The road twists and undulates realistically and is way more advanced than most home computer racing games of the time. Roadside objects – and other cars – scale smoothly from a distance as they zoom by you. Overall: the feeling of speed and movement is excellent for a racing game released at the very end of the 1980s.

Of course you have to avoid crashing your car into the many static obstacles as you drive along, and this can be tricky when the road has large boulders blocking parts of the route. Crash into one, or any static roadside object, and you’ll come to grinding halt and you and your passenger will jump up out of their seats (and, rather cheekily, the female passenger’s purple knickers are flashed when her skirt flies up!). Crash too many times and you’ll damage the car beyond repair, its tyres will fall off, and the game will abruptly end. Occasionally the road will also pass or cross open water, and driving into it will also have the same game-ending effect.

A track designer was released for E-Type, allowing players to make their own courses. A sequel, called E-Type 2, was also released in 1994. This includes a split-screen two-player mode for simultaneous play.

E-Type was initially released for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron by The Fourth Dimension, but it’s this Archimedes version that really shines.

See also: The King of Grabs Archimedes Special

More: E-Type on Wikipedia

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