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3D Stock Car Championship

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Released: 1988

Genre: Racing

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Firebird Software Ltd

Developer: Firebird Software Ltd

Submitted by: David Lightfoot

Multiplayer gaming is part and parcel of most modern games, particularly with the online experience enabling you to hook up with an unending amount of people across the world. Back in the mid 80's however it was a slightly more infrequent affair.

Plugging in a hefty peripheral would sometimes enable two people to play a game simultaneously, or squeezing around a keyboard using your redefined keys, but usually gaming with friends would be a turn based solo experience. If you had any siblings then this could often result in altercations on whose go it was next.

3D Stock Car Championship from Firebird software was able to solve this problem, although this time the fighting would inevitably be over who had won and how.

I remember cramming around the small plastic keys of our Spectrum 48K+ with my brother and two friends to play this, at the time, particularly ground breaking multiplayer game. This was four player simultaneous play all from a £1.99 Silver Range cassette!

I have many fond memories of this title, but I particularly remember the excellent game mechanics making the different coloured cars skid with Thrust like momentum across the line drawn isometric '3D' tracks. Crashing into each other and bumping around the course like the real life stock car racing I'd recently seen for a friend's birthday party in Wimbledon.

The winner of the race is the player with the fastest lap time within the time limit, making you try to build up your speed as much as possible with some nifty use of the accelerator. After the race you are awarded points, 7p for the winner down to 1p for last place all adding up to your place in the leaderboard.

Also of note is the addition of a rather hilarious rendition of the Formula 1 theme at the beginning of each race.

Overall a very enjoyable multiplayer game that seems to be often overlooked. 3D Stock Car is like a slightly simpler, less glamorous version of Super Sprint much like real stock car racing is to Formula 1 and I love it.