A good sense of speed in a driving game is one of the most vital ingredients, but is there such a thing as too fast?
Not many driving games on the Amstrad CPC move at a fair old lick, but Twin Turbo from Codemasters threw out the rule book, breaking the Z80 speed barrier for Amstrad racers. This game is frantic, nerve-shredding almost, where driving dangerously seems to be the norm.
Twin Turbo takes the traditional arcade concept where you race to the finish line over five stages. The car resembles a Ferrari, similar to the F40 seen in Turbo Outrun, only faster! The sense of speed is highly convincing, giving you the feeling that you are up against it, with other cars reacting to your movement. Every race feels dangerous, the pace is fast and weaving through traffic, negotiating corners and desperately trying to see over the brow of a hill requires massive concentration and good reflexes.
Unfortunately, accidents will happen, in fact, lots of crashes will happen, this is just as much about flooring the gas pedal as it is about learning the layout of the road. Driving without due care and attention will cause an incident at the most inconvenient times, with a spectacular crash that will cost you from winning the race, and it's this learning curve that lifts the game out of the ordinary.
The constant supply of hills, dips and fast corners can prove a bit disorientating, but the ridiculous fast action keeps you at it. That's pretty much Twin Turbo in a nutshell. What? Do I like Twin Turbo? Well yeah, it's quite cool for an 8bit game. Even despite punching my keyboard for unavoidable crashes. It may not be perfect, but it certainly does its job. When it all comes together, it can be absolutely brilliant, crossing the finish line will have you punching the air.
Back in the day, this was high-speed racing on a budget, highly infuriating but always thrilling.