Enduro is another Activision translation from a dedicated games cartridge to the Spectrum, the adaption here being done by James Software. Once more you are down on the grid, ready to race through all sorts of conditions against 200 other vehicles. The race starts in broad daylight, takes you through snow and ice, fog and rain towards the sunset, dusk and finally night.
Your car is red, the others are all black. At night time all you can see of them is their headlights until night really settles in, when only their red tail lights glimmer dimly and the road, too, is foreshortened. The overall perspective used is a rather high one, although the road does reach the vanishing point properly. The screen display is mostly green (road and landscape) with the road edges indicated by thin perspective lines. A blue sky is separated by hill details which do move about realistically. Sunset is well shown with the sky beginning to turn red. Ice and snow conditions are represented spy the predominant green turning white and the car controls in a somewhat sluggish manner to simulate driving conditions.
Below the playing area is a panel containing the day number, number of cars still to overtake and a timer. Running along the edge of the road will slow you down, although this is one of the few road racer games where your vehicle cannot actually run off the road. Also, rather like Full Throttle, hitting other vehicles doesn't result in an explosion, but just slows you down.
There is only the one, seemingly endless track to play on, but there is an increase in difficulty as you go from day to day, with the cars bunching more together as you go along.
Control keys: 2/W accelerate/brake, O/P right
Joystick: Sinclair, Kempston, Protek, AGF (accelerate is fire button)
Keyboard play: very responsive, good positions
Use of colour: good
Graphics: not over detailed but fast and smooth with better than average 3D effect
Skill levels: 1 with progressive difficulty
'3D car racing games seem to have a been a bit of a flop on the Spectrum, with not many people attempting to produce a good version. Activision, one of the big names in cartridge software for games-only machines, have realistically reproduced one of their better games; it cannot be said that this is the best 3D racing game on the market however. Enduro features a good representation of a day, sunset and night, with other road conditions such as snow and fog, both of which affect the performance of your car in different ways. Colour has been used well with only minor attribute problems. The road moves in a realistic 3D manner, as do the cars whizzing past you into the distance. The sound would be great if only it was more available. If you want a good, competitive racing car game and are willing to pay almost £8, then this is money well spent.'
'Activision's Enduro on the Spectrum is not too bad. It still contains features such as night and poor visibility driving. The game is fast, the graphics being okay not over detailed. I found it playable but not that addictive.'
'First impressions of this are those of being ripped - paying eight quid for a game which is little better than Speed Duel, and this feeling stayed with me all the while I was playing Enduro. You can say of the graphics that they serve their purpose but with no nice extras. The sound is quite good when the car accelerates. This isn't a bad game and it does get quite exciting at times, but I feel at £7.95 it's a bit of a rip off and isn't a patch on Full Throttle which is cheaper. All in all, not a bad game but a bit pricey for what it is.'
|Use of Computer||73%|
|Value For Money||54%|
Roger: Although we're talking racing cars here rather than motorbikes, the scenario and practical action of Enduro is very similar to Micromega's Full Throttle. The player uses a pair of keys to steer, and has both throttle and brakes on the keyboard. Joystick control is easier and obviously more instinctive, with a simple pull-back on the stick to hang out the anchors.
The challenge is to keep on going in any weather or visibility condition, overtaking the requisite number of other cars each 'day'. During the first cycle, 200 cars must be passed and in subsequent 'days', the opposition increases to 300. Apart from 'day' and 'night' driving conditions - only tail lights are visible during the latter - ice and fog also appear, demanding slower, more careful and precise car control.
The essential similarities to Full Throttle are tracking control and graphics, in as much as the visuals are dominated by a wiggling ribbon representing the road, tapering off to the horizon. I suppose it's got the same ability to excite, amuse and addict 'go-faster' merchants, but it ain't sufficiently different to justify acquisition if that other program's been LOADed in the recent past...
To be honest. I got quickly tired of it, but there again, I've been tired all my life... 3/5 HIT
Ross: Very similar to the VCS version. An outdated game more like dodging blobs session. 1/5 MISS
Dave: The graphics are quite good. The cars coming towards you are not exactly perfect but they're reasonable and they move fast. It seems quite easy to master and will probably get tedious once you get the hang of it. 3/5 HIT
Pressing on regardless, releasing all the old Activision stuff on budget, and after failing with River Raid, Firebird is still trying to do the impossible. To do a decent Atari 2600 conversion. It carries on the trend with that old rad-racing classic, Enduro. In it you must ride a cross-country course over land and snow, occasionally riding through the night. You race against hundreds of other cars beautifully drawn in glorious block-o-vision. (Except in the night where they are portrayed by their headlights only.)
The road is two lines on either side and the only impression of movement is an occasional wave in the line that passes at regular intervals Another pathetic effort by Firebird. Let sleeping games lie, that's what I reckon.
Reviewer: Tony Dillon
Unless you've a Atari VCS video game system tucked away at home, you will not know about the joys of Enduro. When it first came out in cartridge form for the VCS members of the C&VG staff could be seen sneaking off to the computer room for a quick blast around the Enduro race track - in fact we were in danger of not reviewing anything else that month.
Anyway, this ace racing game has now come to the screens of the Spectrum.
The idea of the game is simple. You have to complete as many laps of a long distance endurance race as possible. At the start of each lap, or day, you are given a target number of cars to pass in order to qualify for the next lap. You drive through day and night, snow and fog during each lap, passing cars as you go. Hit another car and you slow down - a delay which might prevent you qualifying for the next day of racing.
The graphics are pretty crude by today's standards and the sound not up to much - but the game scores highly on playability. You keep wanting beat it. Enduro is guaranteed to get you coming back for more.
The controls - either keyboard or joystick - are extremely responsive. So you'll need a few practice laps to get the feel of your Enduro-car.
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