Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
The television companies try their best. They cover the FIA Formula One World Championship, they put cameras into the cars and they give non-stop commentary on the action. But it’s not like being there is it? Well now you can go one step further and actually take part with Domark’s F1.
All the thrills and spills of this top racing event have been painstakingly converted to the Master System. All the cars, drivers and options are here, plus the all-important speed a game of this type needs.
Before you put pedal to the metal, you can call up the status of your car and alter all the settings to suit your tastes. Wings, gears, tyres and engine can all be customised to produce the leanest, meanest driving machine in the race.
When you’re satisfied, cycle through the tracks, which include all the famous circuits from around the world, then qualify for the Grand Prix. An outline of the selected track is always kept on the status panel of the main play screen, along with speedometer, lap times and your position in the race.
F1’s an excellent one-player game but find a friend to join the championship and the playability doubles! There’s a slick split-screen view of the action so both players can compete at the same time. This is really useful as you’re bombing along — you can check where your mate is in the race and speed up to catch him or laugh in his face!
There are many neat touches in F1 that we haven’t come across before in Master System racing games. Some tracks include tunnels which scroll by really smoothly.
For Formula One racing, F1 is the business.
I was really looking forward to playing F1 — I thought it would be a nice change from all the platform games that are around at the moment. Needless to say, I was soon back leaping about platforms, as this didn’t keep my attention for long.
There are just enough options to get by with, cars that can be altered to suit your personal tastes and a selection of tracks to play. You can also choose Arcade or Grand Prix games — Arcade means you don’t get any options, you just race!
The graphics are nothing out of this world. Cars look rather pathetic but the scrolling’s good and tunnels and bridges are quite a novelty. The backgrounds are well detailed, though, with greenery, fun fairs and grandstands dotted around.
Sound effects and music have been included but I wouldn’t bother listening to them — put on a good CD instead. All you hear during a race is a terrible droning sound from the cars.
It’s not all bad, though. If you’ve got a mate who likes F1 driving, get them along for a two-player race. The screen’s split into two so you can see exactly what the other player’s up to. It’s great fun when you whizz past your opponent and watch yourself on their half of the screen. The trouble is that you’ll probably crash because you’re not watching where you’re going!
Don’t bother with F1, it’s nothing special at all.
A life on the open road would suit me fine. I can picture it now-racing up to speeds of 200 mph, the wind blowing through my hair... and I haven’t even taken my helmet off! F1’s supposed to be the fastest and most realistic racing game ever to hit the Master System. This is probably true, but as the few racers which already grace the Master System aren’t much cop, Domark didn’t have a hard task ahead of them.
As far as racing games go, F1’s okay but nothing special. Sure, the car races up to 200 mph, but it certainly doesn’t seem that fast. When I got up to a hundred, the white lines beneath the car crawled by.
However, I’ll give credit where it’s due. Graphically it’s almost identical to the Mega Drive version, with a few minor alterations. The car runs smoothly and the scenery’s well drawn.
I found the gameplay to be slightly more challenging. When you bump into the back of one of your opponents, your car spins around and stops, losing valuable time as you get back up to speed. This is far more realistic than the small bump noise you get on the MD.
F1 may be the best Grand Prix game on the Master System but there’s ample room for improvement.
Below average racing game with nothing special to offer speed freaks.