PowerDrive is for me one of the best racing games; it was made in 1994 by Rage Software. I just love this game, and I hope you enjoy it too. This is a conversion of the arcade game with the same name. This game is a real classic and will keep you interested for quite some time. It's a fun cartoonish rally game that you will like from the first moment you start to play it and it is full of realism.
Power Drive offers a nice variety of tracks, cars, and reasonable car physics to keep rally fans happy. For a driving game it is surprising that it is presented with an isometric view.
At the beginning of the game, you are given the option to pick one from these two cars: Mini Cooper and a Fiat Cinquecento. The second is a little more expensive than the Mini, yet a little faster, but if you choose this car, you will spend almost all your money and you probably will not be able to fully repair it between races! That's a choice to be made by you.
The races are set in many different countries, each one of them with its own particular hazzards and dangers, such as icy roads or night races, (you begin in Monte Carlo - France). The variety of tracks is one of the best points of the game. You'll race against the time in a time trial or against an opponent, with an option of 3, 4, and 5 laps per race. Another very good point of the game is the Skills Tests. When you can finish a country, you'll have to face completing one of these before you can move on to the next country. These grant a huge variety in the game and allow you to do something besides the normal lap race.
After this little talk, we pass to the game, which begins with a time trial to see if you can qualify for a race. After that, it's you against the computer in a head-to-head race. Some of the levels that you see aren't available yet, because you need a special licence test, where you must perform a set of different routines to complete a level, such as driving around cones and reversing into a tight gap. This increase a lot of variety to the procedings.
There are three options for the controls: keyboard, from which you can redefine the keys, joystick 1 and joystick 2 (don't ask me how this works, as I don't have a joystick). With the keyboard - that was what I used to play this game - I can say it can be quite difficult to master. To increase the difficulty a little more, when you damage your car during a race, you will notice it in the race by the way the car handles, as the car will move slower as the the engine gets damaged or the stearing becomes harder as you hit obstacles, so you must be careful to stay on the road at all cost. After the race, you have some time to repair your car, but this costs money and if you haven't won the race, you won't have much money; but luckily for you, someone has left some bonuses as: cash, nitro (wich gives your car a turbo booster) and clocks (which stops time); they are sparse around the race track for you to collect.
Graphically the game is quite good with some of the effects looking very nice, especially the scenery, with adequate cartoon-style graphics. You can see the snow falling around as you powerslide through an icy corner. Sound effects are a bit sparse, but adequate. Music is also very good.
This game needs DOSBox, and I recomend you to set it to around 7000 CPU cycles.
I recommended this game and i give it 5 stars!