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                   REVIEW: ALL TERRAIN RACING BY TEAM17
                            By:  Jason Compton 
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I'm a sucker for top-down racing games.  There, I've got that out of the
way.

All Terrain Racing (ATR) is in this vein.  A PAL-only, ECS concoction, it
takes a well-thought out, fast-paced, close-up approach to the age old
question: How can you round that curve on ice in your Formula racer without
getting nailed by a missle from the guy behind you?

Well, in case it hasn't occurred to you before, it will if you play it. 
The general idea is that you race, either against a group of human or
computer opponents, in one of three vehicles on one of three terrain-types
through a bunch of tracks.  Of course, powerups are available as you race
(the requirement of any arcade game is the existance of powerups), and as
you progress you can purchase upgrades for your car.  Since racing in a
league is possible, you can develop quite a roadmonster.

Alternately, you can compete head-to-head with a friend for points (points
occurring if you complete a lap first, race your opponent off the screen
causing him/her to be "warped" to catch up to you, or hitting them with a
missile).  I personally prefer this game to the rest...you don't have to
worry about the computer beating you and can yell back and forth at your
human opponent.

And the computer is quite a formidable opponent, at least in sheer numbers,
since up to four can race against you...

The game is supposed to be fun, and it is.  You get your choice of realms
to compete in (and the tracks are beautifully constructed), and the 21
different tracks should keep you occupied for a time.  One complaint about
the construction of the racing system is that the dimension of height is
handled rather poorly, it usually takes a lap or two to get the hang of it.
For that matter, the tracks are often fairly complicated, and in the Forest
setting, it's difficult to tell where you're supposed to go.

The obligatory Team17 plugs abound...my favorite is the polygon Team17
skyscraper on the sport track.

The action moves very fluidly, and the game is cooperative with a variety
of configurations, provided you put it in PAL.

The game is fun.  It's supposed to be.  I think Team17 is a bit obsessive
with the Trinity here (three cars, three landscapes, three game modes) and
more is always better.  But as a kick-back-and-enjoy game, it scores.

Team17 Software Ltd.
Longlands House
Wakefield Road
Ossett
West Yorkshire
WF5 9JS
United Kingdom
team17@cix.compulink.co.uk