Super Skidmarks, Megadrive/Genesis

Super Skidmarks is an isometric racing game developed by New Zealand-based Acid Software and published by Codemasters for the Sega Megadrive/Genesis in 1995. It was originally released for the Amiga and Amiga CD32 and is the sequel to the 1993 game Skidmarks.

The game can be played single-player, or split-screen multiplayer, with up to four players competing in either a championship season or in individual one-off races. There are four different championships to begin with: Rally Racing, Surf Showdown, Winter Series, and Cowboy Fever, and you have three attempts to try to come in the top three in each race in order to earn points and progress. Passwords can be entered to continue a championship, should you need to.

Each player can enter their name before racing, and the game also features some customisation options that allow you to change the number of laps required in a race, and the colour and power of the cars.

Controlling the cars is quite challenging, but with some practise races do become winnable. Hitting the sides of the tracks as you drive around will seriously hamper your ability to win races, so the aim is to avoid doing that, which is easier said than done. The key, really, is to learn to power slide around corners by turning early. Hitting other cars can also knock you off course, but on occasion you can also get catapulted into the lead via a collision.

Backgrounds are pre-rendered 2D bitmaps and the cars seem to be miniature 3D models, although I could be wrong about that. Super Skidmarks does look pretty decent, though. The scrolling is fast and silky smooth, the are controls simple and the movement and inertia are reasonably well-balanced. That said, Super Skidmarks is a difficult game to maintain momentum in. You can win a race, then mess up every subsequent one after that by fumbling a single corner. Once you’ve gotten yourself in a tizz it’s then almost impossible to catch up to the chasing pack.

As isometric racing games go Super Skidmarks is pretty decent – if frustrating at times – but it isn’t the best of its kind that I’ve played.

More: Super Skidmarks on Wikipedia

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