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Speed Demons

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs




Copyright 1997, Microids

Speed Demons is a disappointing semi-futuristic offroad 3D racing game from Microids that ruins a good premise with terrible gameplay. While the graphics are above average, the control for the cars is extremely poor: it took me many minutes to figure out which key does what, and I can never get used to the convoluted control scheme and overly responsive cars.

There is absolutely no physics involved while driving, and there are so many quirks in the game as to make it laughable. For instance, Speed Demons allows you to drive all the way up the mountain if you wish, and will nonchalantly transport you back to the course once you get high enough. When the game tries to be realistic, it doesn’t go all the way as to make it believeable. For example, you may lose a whole wheel if you hit something at high speed (not just a tire), but afterwards your car will still behave as if it still had 4 wheels.

To be fair, Microids did try to implement a lot ot nice details that make Speed Demons more than just a straightforward racing game, but an immersive experience. My favorite is White Line course, where you can drive down ski slopes at high speed and smash into the thousands of skiers that are playing on the slopes. Demented, perhaps, but it’s amusing to see the hapless skiers fly in the air and bounce on the ground a few times ;)

At the end of the day, Speed Demons suffers from an atrocious control scheme and very bad physics. I could never manage to steer the car properly, or feel as if I’m driving a car as opposed to a bunch of pixels on screen. The very limited multiplayer option – only split-screen racing for 2 players is offered – doesn’t make things any better. If you enjoy racing game, best ignore this marginal underdog and play something like Slipstream 5000 instead.

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