Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Although this latest Master System game bears the same name as Sega's splendid racing coin-op, the similarities are virtually non-existent! Instead of it being a Grand Prix simulation based around the famous Monaco street circuit, it' s a one or simultaneous two-player racing game where the drivers get the chance to compete in a series of Grand Prix races.
At the start of the game there are a series of options which let you choose one or two players, and the type of game - VS Battle, a one to nine lap series of races where two players race one another or a single player challenges the computer driver, or Grand Prix, a series of races where you challenge an opponent and a whole field of computer cars.
Once you've chosen the type of game you can pick a car from a choice of four. Select automatic, 3, 5 or 7 speed gearbox, then adjust the suspension and front ailerons for maximum grip.
During the game a split screen display is used to show both players' cars, and there's also a radar map of the entire course showing where both players are. As you overtake the opposition, a number appears above your car to reveal your current placing.
Points are awarded at the end of the race to top-placed drivers - the aim is simply to be the highest scorer at the end of the season.
When I discovered that this wasn't a conversion of the Super Monaco GP arcade machine I must confess to being rather disappointed. However, after playing it a couple of times I soon realised that this is a very good racing game indeed - in fact the best yet seen on the Sega! The cars are tricky to drive at first and seem to spin off at every corner, but once you find the suspension and aileron settings that suit your driving style it becomes a very skillful game of brakng into a corner and powering out through the bend (making sure you don t hit any other cars in the process). The two-player mode is obviously where this game scores highest - it 's very competitive, especially when you're racing against an entire field of other cars. But even on your own the game is immense fun since the computer driver is no dummy and provides an even more formidable opponent than your average human! Super Monaco GP is an excellent racing game with tremendous lasting appeal, and is an absolute must for your games collection.