>> Friday, October 5, 2007
Language specific versions of CD-i games are plenty, like Caraibes Offshore which is the same as "Thunder in Paradise" only this is about the french version. Also different regional covers are available, like with The Apprentice which got totally different covers in USA and Europe. The same goes for Video Speedway, a racing game by ISG Productions (who we know from the excellent Plunderball . The US version is different than the European version, but I was surprised to find a different version called "Grand Prix". I was hoping on an updated version of the original!
Although ISG Productions had a seemingly short history with regards to CD-i gaming it shown a refreshing new way that attempted to play towards the platforms and indeed the studios strengths. ISG's initial foray into video games was Video Speedway, criticised for its gameplay or lack of it still stood as a refreshing and different product nestled between the board games and experimental mass market offerings such as gambling/boxing titles. ISG originally made CD-I emulators, and there were only so many CD-I developers to sell them to. One of ISG's programmers, Lee Chidgey, was very interested in making games, and I think he played a large role in convincing ISG's owners to head in that direction. The decision to make Video Speedway was because that was the type of game the development team wanted to make. There really wasn't any CD-I market when Video Speedway was first being developed, as the platform hadn't been launched yet. ISG had developed a proprietary codec that played video on CD-I better than what anyone else could do (even PIMA). With that being one of our competitive strengths as a developer, we decided to incorporate video sequences in both Video Speedway (hence the title) and later, Plunderball.
A sequel to Video Speedway was also in the make, called Tox Runner. A spokeperson of Philips about this unreleased CD-i game: "Oh my god! This never got a release? This title was in and out of product test for a few years, I just assumed it finally got a release since it disappeared. Well after testing it a few hundred times I can see why, it was junk. This title was made by the same people who made Video Speedway.
It's basically the Video Speedway engine which in my opinion is one of the worst racing games ever produced so this title is not off to a good start. But the twist with tox runner was you used motorcycles instead of race cars. The premise was you lived in a sort of Road Warrior type world. Various outposts have come down with some sort of deadly virus, you have to run the cure called tox to these various outposts on your motorcycle within a set period of time. While this is going on various gangs try to stop you from achieving this by trying to run you off the road. Interesting idea for a game but the game play wasn't so good and the graphics were a bit comical."