Review – GTS Racing Challenge by Astraware

by Reads (2,997)

Proclaim it from the rooftops–Astraware has done it again. The god of PalmOS games’ latest success is GTS Racing Challange, a 3D car racing game.

GTSR follows the Astraware tradition of pushing the limits enough to be interesting, but staying back enough to insure their product works perfectly. And it does, from weaving through the competition at the start of the race to fishtailing off the road and bogging down in the dirt because your turned too tightly on that last curve. While admittedly more arcade than simulation, GTSR has more than enough realism to keep you honest.

Available in Single Race mode are four difficulty levels, and eight different cities. Each city has a different track for each difficulty level, 32 tracks in all. Multiplied by the three different cars available, that’s 96 individual game possibilities in Single Race mode alone. Also included are three tournament modes–Challenge Cup, Grand Tour, and Championship. The number of laps vary from 4 on up to 32. Needless to say, this means vast amounts of
replayability.

Gameplay is extremely smooth. Even on my older m505, there is no slowing, hitching, or bugs. The graphics are a bit jagged, but that must be expected on a low-res screen. Even so, they look surprisingly good. There’s a HighRes version in the works as well, which should be even better.

I only have a couple nitpicks. First, when launching GTSR, there’s a pause while the game unpacks it’s data–about seven seconds. Annoying if you need to jump back to check something then want to go back to playing. Second, it would be nice if the track diagram showed not only your car but your opponants, so you know where they are. As I said, nitpicks, and quite minor.

GTS Racing Challenge is doubtless going to keep a lot of obsessive gameplayers very happy while they try desperately to set a new lap record. The amount of replay value is really staggering–just the single races alone have more value than a lot of other games. And even if, after a few years of play, you start to get bored, you can always try driving the track backwards. In truth, my biggest complaint is that GTS Racing is only available for the Palm–when I’m only carrying my Axim, I’m left out. Too bad. GTSR is a really great game, and
for $18 it’s a great value too.

GTS Racing Challenge also supports 8-bit color and 4-bit greyscale machines. HighRes and sound-enhanced versions are in the works.

You may get a free demo or purchase for $17.95 from Astraware.

Requirements:

Palm OS 3.5 or higher
630 KB free memory (Color)
705 KB free memory (Grey)

Pros:

Impressive gameplay
Enormous replayability value
Great value

Cons:

Long startup time to unpack data
No high res version at release

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