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Formula Dé

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:Laurent Lavaur

GAME DEVELOPER:Freeware

GAME PUBLISHER:Freeware

Copyright 2005, Unknown

Formula D is an excellent fanmade PC version of a great tabletop F1 racing game from EuroGames. Coded in Java, the game looks and plays even better than FormulaPC, an older (2002) freeware title reviewed earlier on this site. Like the board game, Formula D allows you to play with up to 5 computer or human players (each controlling an F1 team) to compete on various tracks. You can change the race length (1 lap, 2 laps, 3 laps, or qualifying) and the circuit to race on. There are many more circuits to download from the official site. The goal, of course, is to be the first to cross the finish line. Here are some excerpts from my review of FormulaPC that applies equally well to this gem as well:

“If you wonder how the frantic pace of F1 racing can be captured in a turn-based board game, Formula D and its board game counterpart proves how to do it. The game is played by rolling the dice that corresponds to the gear your car is currently in, then move your car the number of spaces shown by the die. At the end of your turn, your car is considered “stopped.” The concept of stopping is important in negotiating corners, because you must make at least as many stops as shown on the yellow flag besides the corner. During a race, your car will suffer wear on five major parts (tyres, brakes, fuel, bodywork, and engine), each of which start with a fixed number of Wear Points. Similarly, every action you can perform in a real race is simulated by spending various kinds of points: Brake Points for braking, Tyre Points for overshooting a corner (imagine the tyres screeching), a combination of Fuel, Brake, and Engine Points for over-revving (i.e. skipping gears), and many more. Throw in collision and pit stops, and you have an incredibly realistic racing simulation that doesn’t require reflexes to win.

Formula D is a very faithful PC conversion of the superb board game that adds many extras, including a track designer you can use to design your own circuit. You can even replace cars in the game by your own designs – even tanks (!) can be downloaded from the official site :) If you have played Formula D before, this fanmade Java underdog is a must-have. Although the website is in French, the game itself is in English.



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