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Demolition Racer

Score: 80%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Infogrames
Developer: Pitbull Syndicate
Media: CD/1
Players: Unknown
Genre: Racing

Graphics & Sound:

The graphics of Infogrames' Demolition Racer are very smooth when using a 3D-accelerator card. However, I was very disappointed with the frequent glitches of the cars meshing inside one another instead of bouncing off when crashing. And let me tell you, the sound FX are absolutely horrible!!! OK, the music is actually pretty cool (featuring bands Fear Factory, Junkie XL, Empirion and Cirrus) and helps put you in the mood of wrecking cars, but you can't hear the sound FX very well at all. Even when I turned down the music fully, and turned up the sound FX fully, the FX were so faint that I could barely hear them. I never knew when a car was sneaking up behind me in the races.


In the Circuit Racing mode, you will drive on 10 tracks against 15 other cars. There are two methods of scoring that, when combined, will rank you overall for that race. These are 1) your position when crossing the finish line and 2) scoring as many points as possible by thrashing your opponents' cars. There is a good balance between scoring points in the races and still trying to get 1st place. You earn points for roughing up the competition. Then, your score is multiplied by an amount ranging from 25x down to 0x, depending on your finishing position.

Of course, when you buy a car demolition game, there is one thing you are looking forward to - the Demolition Derby!!! If you want cracks, smacks, and squealing tires, you've come to the right place. With the exception of the cars sometimes 'being inside each other' as described above, the Demo Derby is the heart of the game. Race your car around the bowl-shaped track and smash into everyone to score points and knock them out of the competition, before they blow up your car first.


Demolition Racer is not as easy as one might think. The Demolition Derby is surprisingly very hard. At the time of this writing, I have yet to get 1st place! In fact, I believe the best I have done is 5th place. The racing circuit of this game is equally difficult, but here you have more control over your destiny. Don't expect to win right away, because even if you are first to cross the finish line, you need 'smash-up' points as well to get first overall.

Game Mechanics:

Nothing much new here - smash as many cars as you can while trying to refrain from damaging your vehicle too much! In the Circuit Racing mode, you will need to get a well-balanced formula of smashing cars and taking first place in order to continue on to the next event. One piece of advice would be to make sure that there are always a few cars around you to get damage points as these will be multiplied by a number corresponding to your finishing position. Do not just get out in the lead and think you are going to win overall. Finally, I was disappointed to find out that there was no multiplayer support - neither split-screen nor Internet. Although this is a fine arcade-style racer in single-player mode, multiplayer over the Internet with a 15 other humans in the Demolition Bowl would have been sweet!

All in all, I gave this game a rating of 8/10 because it is very fun and addictive, but does have a few graphical and sound troubles. Any racing fan that uses the replay feature on their favorite games just to see the crashes will love this game!

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

Minimum System Requirements:

100% DirectX 7.0 compatible Pentium 166 and above, 32MB RAM, 70MB HD space, 4x CD-ROM, Direct 3D accelerator card with 4MB of RAM. Supports all major Windows 95/98 compatible sound cards, joysticks, and game pads

Test System:

400MHz PII running Windows 98, 128MB SDRAM, 16MB Raven 3D Accelerator Card by Quantum 3D, 32x CD-ROM

Sega Dreamcast Virtua Athlete 2000 Windows Die Hard Trilogy 2

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated