SOFTWARE REVIEW: AUTO DUEL by Richard Karsmakers
You slip into fourth gear, just having left the city of New York.
Hmm. Handling the gear is not quite what it should be, but you
decide to let a mechanic check it over in the next town since you
do not have sufficient mechanic skill to do it yourself. You put
on your sunglasses as the sun rises to your right when driving
the N.Y. State Thruway to Albany.
You almost feel like getting poetic when looking at this
beautiful sight, when a heavily armoured Mauler-type vehicle
appears in your sight. Your car being a Turtle-type, you know
that you can survive quite some hits, but you know that you're
quite chanceless against such an opponent of formidable power.
Just one front-mounted flamethrower will have to do the work for
As the enemy vehicle comes closer and closer, your finger cramps
itself around the trigger. Then......small clouds of smoke arise
from your opponent's Hauler, and flashes of light move themselves
rapidly in your direction. Damn! A laserbeam is quite a tough
cookie to fight against, being fast and light. Some of the beams
hit the street near you, and several shots hit your car. Your
nose is penetrated by the smell of melting metal, and it's
getting hotter and hotter. You just drive on and carefully aim
your flamethrower to the tires of the enemy vehicle......Wooosh!
A bright stream of fire and gasoline pours from the mouth of your
weapon, setting the enemy vehicle alight as were it a lump of
hay. Unfortunately, some of the burning fluids drop down on your
hood, and your own car is ablaze within matters of seconds. You
jump out and dash for some trees in the distance, until suddenly
a loud explosion fills the air with fire and steel and you feel
yourself thrown to the ground.
Looking at the remains of both cars you crawl up and decide to
walk the way further to Albany - only a few miles' distance. You
keep your hand on your pistol, since you know that the road is a
dangerous place to be all on your own - especially without the
protection of your own car.
You walk quietly, whistling a tune most familiar to most
Autoduellists - "Drive Offensively, The life you save may be your
In Origin's (of "Ultima" fame) new game "Auto Duel", marketed by
Microprose in Europe, the target is to earn a lot of money, fame
and skill in an arcade-adventure environment - this time, the
accent lies on 'adventure'.
The package promises a lot: It contains not only the two program
disks and a usermanual (including a "New Driver's Manual"), but
also a map from the Northeast sector, a Player reference card, a
Microprose advertisement leaflet and even a mini-carrepair-set
(which consists of a screwdriver with changable tools, a hammer
and an adjustable pipe wrench). Especially the latter makes it a
package that looks not to be put together within a few days - and
that's about the only thing I like about all those Infocom
adventures, so I gather that's OK.
Thus, "Auto Duel" may be called a very well taken care of
package, and the game itself also leaves that impression on me.
The only (big) disadvantage of the game is that it takes quite a
long time before you get hold of the controls, have built a
decent car and have gained some Arena-fame. The game really shows
itself in its full attractiveness only when these tasks are
You have to fullfill courier tasks, fight others in the Arena,
perform genocide on the race of Outlaws and other operations like
these, so you can earn enough money to build yourself a better
car (with heavier armoury, weapons and a better chassis). While
doing this, there are many things you'll have to look after which
make the game actually quite realistic.
Graphics are not impressive at all - bad scrolling and very rough
characters - and the sound effects slipped my mind (so they will
probably not have been very impressive). But these things do not
matter to the dedicated adventure-freak, so I think "Auto Duel"
is definately one of the best games to arise recently for these
Thanks to Homesoft (Haarlem, Holland), for supplying the original
program to be reviewed in ST NEWS!
Name: Auto Duel
Hookability: 8 (for the freaks, that is)
Overall rating: 7
Remark: Only for the freaks
Price (Dutch Guilders): 89.50
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.