Title Lotus III Game Type Driving Publisher Gremlin/Magnetic Fields Players 1/2 Compatibility OCS/AGA HD Installable Via patch Submission Glen Lambert Review Well, who on this earth isn't familiar with the Lotus games? Yep, those racing games made all the more fun by the fact that you couldn't crash because Lotus didn't want their cars to be seen crashing or exploding. Consequently smashing into a signpost at 200mph means you slowdown a bit and your car suffers no damage. Being a bit anti-car-game myself I found this approach very good as I no longer had to concern myself with the well being of my vehicle and could just get on with the game tearing around the track trying to do better than I did last time. Anyhow, I'm rambling on about Lotus 1 here, which was the first car game I enjoyed and the one that got me hooked on this trilogy. For those not familiar with the first two games I'll summarise. All of the Lotus series are sprite based racing games viewed from a third person perspective. In Lotus 1 you race around circuits against 19 other cars. In order to qualify you must finish in 10th place or better. The higher you finish, the more points you get, the better your chances of an overall first place at the end of the tour. The split screen two player mode was where the game shone though, racing then against 19 other vehicles, one of them driven by your mate. Great fun with plenty of scope for dirty tactics constantly providing amusement. Action was fast & furious but the downer was that the one player mode was still played with split screen view. Lotus 2 corrected this and changed other things too; now, for example, you raced against the clock and not round circuits anymore but lengthy courses instead. The idea was to race from checkpoint to checkpoint within a certain amount of time, whilst it was quite exciting racing through them with a second to spare or just making it through as your car was slowing down it was never as much fun, for me anyway, as racing for position. Lotus 2 was polished with a few additions such as weather effects and night time racing, but the onscreen action, though prettier suffered slightly in the speed department. As Lotus 2 seemed it was the result of numerous letters claiming this and that were wrong with Lotus 1, Lotus 3 seems to be the result of Lotus 1 fans writing in whining that this and that had changed and been lost in Lotus 2. Lotus 3 therefore is an attempt to sit in the middle and keep all sides happy. Now you can choose to race against time (Lotus2) or other vehicles for placement (Lotus1). The terrains and weather effects from Lotus 2 have crossed over with a few more added for good measure. One player action fills the screen and the 2 player split screen is still intact. The sound seems the same as the previous games though the main theme doesn't sound as nice to me as that of Lotus 2. A rather clever password system allows you to not only return to a level at a later date but also design your own to a certain extent. I must confess to not having toyed with this too much as I can't really see the point. Mind you, I was never interested in designing my own Doom or Quake levels either so this feature is probably God's gift to some people. The big downer I find with Lotus 3 is the speed decrease. More noticeable on some levels than others, it's now jerkier and slower than before. The mountain road levels are especially horrid, so slow and chug-chug sometimes it looks like you're moving backwards which is really off putting on a level that's difficult enough as it is with a really narrow road to race on. Lotus 3 could easily have been the best of the trilogy but I can't help but feel it has been 'overdone'. Bringing back all the features from Lotus 1 that were lost in Lotus 2 was a wonderful idea. Had they left it there it would have gone down as the greatest of the lot and one of the greatest games of all time. Sadly though, for the further enhancements of the graphics and terrains the gameplay has paid a hefty price. If anything they perhaps should have reduced the graphical effects in favour of speed and ditched the mountain level altogether. 7/10 - Despite it's flaws, it is still a Lotus game and as such is far more enjoyable than most of the car games out there.