Title Vroom Game Type Driving Publisher Lankhor, 1991 (Released in UK 1992) Players 1 (2 in link-up option) Compatibility Tested on A500, A1200 (WHDLoad Patch available) Submission RJP Review What is the single most important characteristic of a racing game? Circuits perfectly recreated right down to the last yacht in the harbour at Monaco? The ability to adjust wing angles and tyre pressures? A licence from Lotus or Jaguar? No. The answer is speed, as much as possible. A great racing game should aim to exhilarate and thrill, to enable the player to experience that which is usually impractical in the real world due to lack of money or courage. All else should be secondary. So it is with Vroom, by some distance the most convincing recreation of the Formula 1 in-car camera view that you'll ever see on an Amiga. Vroom can be played either as a one-off race, or as a full "season" with qualifying sessions/races on every circuit in the F1 calendar and a points league table. The tracks are not hyper-realistic in the style of F1 Grand Prix; they all look pretty similar (with varying layouts of course) and several feature some rather silly single-file narrow sections that I'm certain don't exist in real life. There's little in the way of flashy presentation between races, just a no-nonsense menu system where you can select automatic/manual gear changing and joystick/mouse control etc. Then you're on the grid... It looks pretty innocuous in static screen shots: Sparse 3D, with trackside objects and cars made up from simple scaled bitmaps. But then you see it moving. Vroom is not merely fast, but sickenly so. We're talking an effortless 50 fps on a basic A1200, and properly calculated 3D - none of your lame Lotus-style striped roads and forced perspective. Throw in some sharp bends and steep gradients and it adds up to an incredible sensation of high velocity. Going over the brow of a hill blindfold is sometimes almost as scary as being chased by a fiend in Quake. Unless you have the reflexes of a fighter pilot, you'll have to put in a fair bit of time learning the circuits. To keep up with your competitors you need to race flat out, the scenery flashing by in a blur, keeping your eyes fixed on the horizon and trying desperately not to blink. The car responds smartly to the controls, but with corners moving towards you at 200mph, it's all too easy to miss your braking point and slide into a barrier. It takes a while to get up to speed again, and this stop/go/watch-the-other-cars-fly-past cycle is somewhat frustrating for novice players. And that's without being distracted by the opposition. Vroom is an excellent lesson for those who snort in derision at Murray Walker's admonition "Catching's one thing, passing's another!" A pretty simple game all in all, but brilliantly executed. As George Martin once remarked, "Economy is the mark of genius."