Sunday, 6 February 2011

Gentlemen, start your engines ... !

At the end of last month I received details about a PC game that the author asked me to evaluate for possible inclusion in the Psytronik Software range. The game was a top-down racing game called AutoCross Racing, programmed by Kevin Murphy. Kevin had included some screenshots of the game with his initial email and as soon as I saw the screens I just knew I would like this game!

Vrooom, whizz - now, this looks like FUN!

I'm a big fan of retro style top-down racing games and used to spend hours playing games like Super Cars 2, Roadkill & Micro Machines on the Amiga. So as soon as I saw the screenshots of the game and the video of the game in action I was already won over - and this was before I had even PLAYED it! I just had a good feeling about it.

It came from the desert!

A few days later the game arrived at the Psytronik HQ on CD-ROM and after a quick and easy installation I was ready to roll. And the good news is the game played just as well as I had hoped! I was instantly hooked on AutoCross Racing - it has a really cool retro racing vibe to it. It's really quick and easy to get into, it plays like a DREAM and, most importantly of all, it's FUN!

Some serious peddle being put to the metal!

Everything about this game just seems to WORK. You can adjust the camera height to view your car from a comfortable distance, you can even switch the camera to the other cars in the race if you wish. The music by Dafunk is great - and as another nice touch you can also add your own music to the game by simply adding mp3 files to the Music folder! So I was soon whizzing around the tracks with remixes of classic C64 tunes like Formula 1 Simulator and Miami Vice playing. Fab!

Beep! Beep! Coming through! *CRASH* Sorry Mister!

As the game would be getting a release on CD-ROM as well as a digital download the next thing I would need is some ARTWORK. The game didn't actually have any cover art at this time so I contacted my good chum Mat 'Preferred Image' Recardo to see if he wanted to help out with this release (as I know he is a bit of a fan of driving games). I sent the game to Mat and he very quickly delivered a beautiful 3D rendered image that very nicely captured the feel of the game (in fact, it looked just like the game - but in 3D!

Mats rendered cover image for AutoCross Racing

I then took Mats cover image and, using the Armalyte CD-ROM box as a template, created the final box artwork for the game which you can see below. I was very pleased with how the artwork turned out as it matches Armalyte very nicely - especially when you put them side by side on your games shelf! I think this has got to be one of the fastest Psytronik releases ever - it went from the initial email from Kevin to being a pretty much ready for release in approx two weeks!
The full game will be released by Psytronik Software later on this month - but you can try it out RIGHT NOW by downloading the excellent playable demo which is now available on the Psytronik Software DOWNLOADS page. And you can also find more information about the game on the main Psytronik site (click HERE).

And finally, a bit of techno-trivia for you. Kevin Murphy was a name already familiar to me as he co-wrote the C64 title Flubble & Squij that was ALMOST released by Psytronik Software back in the 1990s! So with AutoCross Racing it's nice to see a game by Kevin getting a proper Psytronik release at long last. :)

Thanks for reading!

Kenz / (06/02/2011)