Speed-lovers making waves

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 June, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 June, 1998, 12:00am

VR Sports Powerboat Racing For PC CD-ROMs If you love the spills and thrills of the racetrack, try racing on water! Open the throttle with the latest in race simulation, VR Sports Powerboat Racing.

So realistic is the feeling of being on water, you feel you need a towel.

You race along rivers and waterways, against 10 or more opponents, going over jumps and avoiding obstacles.

There are 16 boats, including monohulls and catamarans with their specific handling characteristics and three engine sizes. And you have eight race courses to choose from.

The simulation supports just about every 3D accelerator, and attention to special effects is impressive.

You chew along at speeds beyond the realm of water travel.

As players take rapid turns, the water spurts higher on the side of emphasis, washing out half the scenery in shimmering translucency.

Camera angles with which to view the game, range from extravagant to functional.

Graphics are nice all-round and the game achieves an up-to-standard frame rate with good landscape features.

It also has a slick complexity, with a high polygon count and a range of succulent texture maps.

It does a good job of creating an attractive high-speed racing environment, allowing you to open the throttle of a high- horsepower powerboat that blasts across the water at speeds of more than 200 kilometres an hour. To keep you on your toes, tracks change as you race through them.

Short-cuts open up and paths get blocked unexpectedly, forcing you to think fast.

With tons of options like a split-screen mode for two-player action and several game modes incorporated - Championship, Arcade, Slalom, Shoot-out and Time Trial - VR Sports Powerboat Racing is a comprehensive ticket for every junior yachtsman and bathtub captain.

You need a Windows 95-based IBM or 100 per cent compatible computer. The Windows 95 version is also enhanced by 3D compatible hardware cards and force feedback peripherals.

MEGAHINT: Waves play an important part in racing, and you will have to navigate them.

Take a big wave too fast and you could finish underside up.