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Accelerator: the more you drive, the more fun you have

>> Friday, April 27, 2007

Racing games are a rare breed on CD-i. The only 3D Racing game CD-i has to offer is Video Speedway, which was rather slow and repetitive, and not really recommended for a cool fast experience. Codemasters produced the excellent Micro Machines, which unfortunately also suffered a low framerate. 2D racing was obviously handled by CD-i better than 3D racing. A Traineeship at SPC Vision resulted in the demo Accelerator, which was bundled with the Gold Club Disc. In 1997 (four years later, mind you!), SPC Vision released the eventual game. Ironically, the title above is exactly what Accelerator is all about. When you first play the game, you'll feel empty thinking this is a bad product. After a while you'll be addicted and forget the game its shortcomings.

The game itself is very simple actually. What mostly bothered me was the car movement which is limited to only 12 frames. You can imagine this does not justify a smooth car movement at all, and every turn feels like a block missing frames. In the beginning your car moves slow, and the races are slow. But this is a key factor of the game. After you win a game, you get awarded with money plus the money you found on the way during the race. It is very important you try to get the money that is lying on the tracks because after every race you are allowed to upgrade your vehicle with more speed, grip or acceleration, or even buy weapons. With the weapons you can shoot at your enemies just like the tanks in Micro Machines. Excellent feature. The game itself has 10 tracks in total and after these you replay the first one. I never managed to finish the game, but I doubt there is actually an end. I've played a double run with all tracks and I admit I don't know what's going to happen after that ;)

Another plus for this game is the animation. Strange, because I just flamed at the bad animation of the character movement. But the rest of the game, including the presentation itself, is handled beautifully. Thankfully the game makes use of passwords which saves memory on your precious 8kb memory of the CD-i player. And they work rather well. After a race you get a generated password which holds up your stats. Remarkable is the soundtrack which is of excellent quality. It seems unlikely SPC Vision put so much attention (or money) to the music, or they just used some tracks lying on the shelf, who will tell. The music is on par with other SPC titles, which all have great soundtracks.

Accelerator on CD-i is small and effective. Those who love the SPC Vision games on CD-i will without any doubt feel the charm and love in this racing game.

Gir Draxa from The CD-i Collective sums up a few bad points in the gameplay in a way I couldn't describe any better: "The often touchy colision detection is still a case for attention, made worse by the enlargment of the vehicles. This makes it so darn easy to dammage your car just for getting close to the wall. Also, if you turn and slide next to it, the minute you try to turn away, the rear of your car will bash into the wall. Stopping you and doing more dammage than if you ran headlong into it. Sad. Adding even more frustration is the fact the computer can drive through some of the walls in the game without getting dammaged. Making the old 'Bash Them into the Wall' technique hit-and-miss at best. Even the few weapons offered for the cars don't make it any more intresting. Cost to get them isn't the overall issue, its really just how easy the sketchy collision detection makes them worthless." Read his full opinion here.

I'll finish with a few words from the original developer: "Accelerator has a very convoluted history. It was initially written in the summer of 1993 during a "working holiday" at SPC. One guy wrote the game and most of the surrounding stuff, but did not finish it. This was done by others at SPC in their "copious free time", needless to say this didn't go very fast! During the summer of 1994 a first version was sent to PIMC for testing. It came back with a load of bugs which was a real problem because the original programmer had long left SPC. So the title lingered for a while. The bugfixing was ultimately contracted out; a fixed version was delivered somewhere at the end of 1995. This was again sent to PIMC and came back with new bugs, but nobody wanted to touch it anymore! Since there was no publisher yet, there was no great hurry and it was shelved for more then a year. The title was ultimately finished internally at SPC in the second half of 1997 and released to the market. I can't remember if SPC published and distributed it themselves or worked with someone else."

3 reacties:

Anonymous,  April 27, 2007 at 11:35 AM  

i think it's a very clever remark on the back of the title: "The more you drive, the more fun you have". In the beginning you'll hate this game but it will grow on you and then it's a great game.

a,  April 27, 2007 at 8:16 PM  

it certainly better than that awfully slow Micro Machines conversion CD-i had!!

Matthew October 7, 2011 at 2:48 PM  

I just played this for the first time today. Only gave it a brief 11 minute play, but I like it already....

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Games 0-F

3rd Degree - PF Magic
7th Guest, The - Philips Freeland Studios
Accelerator - SPC/Vision
Adventure of the Space Ship Beagle, The - Denshi Media Services
Affaire Morlov, L' - Titus
Alfapet - Adatek
Alice in Wonderland - Spinnaker
Alien Gate - SPC Vision
Alien Odyssee - Argonaut
Aliens Interactive CD-i - Dark Vision Interactive
Ange et le Demon, L' - Smart Move
Apprentice, The - SPC Vision
Apprentice 2, The - Marvin's Revenge - SPC Vision
Arcade Classics - Philips ADS / Namco
Asterix - Caesar’s Challenge - Infogrames
Atlantis - The Last Resort - PRL Redhill (Philips ADS)
Axis and Allies - CapDisc
Backgammon - CapDisc
Battle Chess - Accent Media (for Interplay)
Battleship - CapDisc
Big Bang Show - Infogrames
BMP Puzzle - Circle (for ZYX)
Brain Dead 13 - Readysoft
Burn:Cycle - Trip Media
Caesar's World of Boxing - Philips POV
Caesar's World of Gambling - CD-I Systems
Cartoon Academy - Bits Corporation
CD-i mit der Maus - SPC Vision
CD Shoot - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Change Angels Kick-off - HMO
Chaos Control - Infogrames
Christmas Country - Creative Media
Christmas Country - The Lost Levels - Creative Media
Christmas Crisis - DIMA
Clue - 3T Productions
Clue 2 - The mysteries continue - 3T Productions
Connect Four - CapDisc
Creature Shock - Argonaut (for Virgin)
Crime Patrol - CapDisc
Crow, The - Philips POV
Cyber Soldier Sharaku - Japan Interactive media
Dame was Loaded, The - Beam Software
Dark Castle - Philips POV
Dead End - Cryo
Defender of the Crown - Philips POV
Deja Vu - Icom Simulations
Deja Vu 2: Lost in Las Vegas - Icom Simulations
Demolition Man - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Demon Driver - Haiku Studios
Discworld - Teeny Weeny Games
Dimo's Quest - SPC Vision
Domino - Wigant Interactive Media
Down in the Dumps - Haiku Studios
Dragon's Lair - Superclub / INTL CDI
Dragon's Lair 2- Time Warp - Superclub / INTL CDI
Drug wars - Crime Patrol II - CapDisc
Dungeons & Dragons - PF Magic
Earth Command - Visionary Media
Effacer - CapDisc
Escape from Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Evidence - Microids
Falco & Donjon & The Sword of Inoxybur - BMi / Zephyr Studio
Family Games I - DIMA
Family Games II - Junk Food Jive - DIMA
Felix the Cat - Philips Sidewalk Studio
Flashback - Delphine/Tiertex (for US Gold)
Flinstones Wacky Inventions - Philips Funhouse
Fort Boyard: The Challenge - Microids
Frog Feast - Rastersoft

CD-i Games Index G-M

Go - CapDisc
Golden Oldies - SPC Vision
Golden Oldies II - SPC Vision
Golgo 13 - Japan Interactive Media
Great day at the races, A - CD-I Racing, Dove Films, Total Vision
Guignols de l'Info, Les - Canal+ Multimedia / INTL CDI
Heart of Darkness - Amazing Studio (for Virgin)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The - Philips Kaleidoscope
Holland Casino CD-i - HMO
Hotel Mario - Philips Fantasy Factory
Inca - Coktel Vision
Inca 2 - Coktel Vision
International Tennis Open - Infogrames
Jack Sprite vs. The Crimson Ghost - PF Magic
Jeopardy - Accent Media
Jigsaw - Novalogic
Joe Guard - DIMA
John Dark: Psychic Eye - CapDisc
Joker's Wild!, The - Accent Media
Joker's Wild Jr., The - Accent Media
Kether - Infogrames
Kingdom - The far reaches - CapDisc
Kingdom 2 - Shadoan - CapDisc
Labyrinth of Crete - Philips Funhouse
Laser Lords - Spinnaker
Last Bounty Hunter, The - CapDisc
Legend of the Fort - Microids
Lemmings - DMA Design / Psygnosis
Lettergreep - Wigant Interactive Media
Lingo - SPC Vision
Link - The faces of evil - Animation Magic
Lion King, The - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Litil Divil - Gremlin Graphics
Litil Divil 2: Limbo Years - Gremlin Graphics
Lords of the rising sun - Philips POV
Lost Eden - Cryo (for Virgin)
Lost Ride, The - Formula (Lost Boys)
Lucky Luke - The video game - SPC Vision
Mad Dog McCree - CapDisc
Mad Dog McCree II: The lost gold - CapDisc
Magic Eraser - Circle (for ZYX)
Mah-Jong - Japan Interactive Media
Making the Grade - 3T Productions
Man Before Man - Cryo
Marco Polo - Infogrames
Mario Takes America - CIGAM
Master Labyrinth - AVM AG/HQ
Mega Maze - CapDisc
Memory Works, The - Compact Disc Incorporated
Merlin's Apprentice - Philips Funhouse
Microcosm - Philips Freeland Studios
Micro Machines - Codemasters
Monty Python's Invasion from the Planet Skyron - Daedalus CD-i Productions
Mutant Rampage - Body Slam - Animation Magic
Myst - Sunsoft (for Cyan)
Mystic Midway - Rest in pieces - Philips POV
Mystic Midway 2 - Phantom Express - Philips POV

Compact Disc Interactive

Compact Disc Interactive

Games N-Z

Name that tune - Philips Fantasy Factory
New Day - Bits Corporation
NFL Hall of Fame Football - Philips POV
Othello - HMO
Pac Panic - Philips ADS / Namco
Palm Springs Open - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Pool - SPC Vision
Pinball - CapDisc
Plunderball - ISG Productions
Power Hitter - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Power Match - Two's Company
Pursue - BEPL
Pyramid Adventures - Compact Disc Incorporated
RAMRaid - PRL Redhill
Return To Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Riddle of the Maze, The - Fathom Pictures
Riqa - Bits Corporation
Rise of the Robots - Mirage Technologies
Sargon Chess - Spinnaker
Scotland Yard Interactive - AVM AG/HQ
Secret Mission - Microids
Secret Name of Ra, The
Shaolin's Road - Infogrames
Skate Dude - Viridis
Smurfen, De - De Telesmurf - Infogrames
Solar Crusade - Infogrames
Solitaire - BEPL
Space Ace - Superclub / INTL CDI
Space Ranger - Studio Interactive
Special Operations Squadron - SPC Vision
Sport Freaks - SPC Vision
Star Trek - Philips POV
Star Wars: Rebel Assault - LucasArts
Steel Machine - SPC Vision
Striker Pro - Rage
Strip Poker Live - Greenpig Production
Strip Poker Pro - Interactive Pictures
Super Fighter - The Super Fighter Team / C&E
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds - NovaLogic
Surf City - Philips Sidewalk Studios
Tangram - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Taco's Toyroom Troopers - Creative Media
Tankdoodle - Creative Media
Tetris - Philips POV
Tetsuo Gaiden - Creative Media
Text Tiles
Thieves' World - Electronic Arts
Tic-tac-toe - BEPL
Tox Runner - ISG Productions
Treasures of Oz - Philips Kaleidoscope
Ultra CD-i Soccer - Krisalis
Uncover featuring Tatjana - SPC Vision
Uninvited - Icom Simulations
Video Speedway - ISG Productions
Vinnie the Pinguin - Pandemonium Labs
Voyeur - Philips POV
Voyeur 2 - Philips POV
Whack-a-Bubble - Creative Media
What's it worth - Marshall Cavendish Multimedia / Spice
Who shot Johnny Rock? - CapDisc
Wordplay - BEPL
World Cup Golf - US Gold
Zaak Sam, De - Toneelschool NL
Zelda - The wand of Gamelon - Animation Magic
Zelda's Adventure - Viridis
Zenith - Radarsoft
Zombie Dinos From The Planet Zeltoid - Philips POV

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