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Autoduel

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Released: 1985

Genre: RPG

Format reviewed: Commodore 64

Publisher: Origin Systems

Developer: Origin Systems

A person can learn many things from videogames, and I’ve definitely done so. I learned the names of many American cities from Rampage, Catherine taught me that I’d be a horrible partner, and Streets Of Rage imparted the wisdom that most wounds can be healed by eating roast chicken, a meal commonly found in roadside bins. Autoduel taught me that if I were to awaken to a world where my survival depended on my prowess in vehicular combat, I would be dead by teatime.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not my gladiatorial skills that would get me killed – I’m a master of the single-button C64 joystick, and while I’ve never driven a car nor fired a gun, I’d imagine that they’re operated in a very similar fashion. No, my downfall would be the meticulous planning that seems to be involved in automotive battles. Regardless of how I configure my driver, vehicle or weaponry in Autoduel, I seem to get it very wrong the first time around. The inevitable result is that I leave the arena with my tail between my legs, often with the added indignity of having to do so on foot, and experiment with a new approach.

But if I were thrust into that situation in real life, there wouldn’t be a second chance – I’d be incinerated by someone else’s flamethrower or riddled with machine gun bullets, and that’d be it. If only I were the sort of person with the foresight to head to Gold Cross and get myself cloned…