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Exhaust Heat

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Released: 1992

Genre: Racing

Format reviewed: SNES

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: SETA

Submitted by: Ian Marks

In the early nineties I owned a Super Nintendo. It was the console that got me back into gaming after a serious hiatus with an Amstrad PC1512. I bought my Super Nintendo from Oxfam in Eastbourne. It wasn’t second hand, it was new and boxed with one game. It had been donated to Oxfam by the local branch of Dixons, and they were selling it for £40… hugely underpriced. I know I should have informed them of this fact, but I didn’t, I simply (and hurriedly) handed over the notes and rushed home with my new purchase.

There was a downside to the transaction though, the game that it came with. That game was Exhaust Heat, a Formula One racing game. Now I’m a big fan of Formula One racing games, but Exhaust Heat really needed an even bigger fan to appreciate it.

On the surface it looked like quite a slick game. The graphics were good looking, and the little car was a fairly good representation of the great Nigel Mansell’s Williams – for the younger reader he’s the bloke with the moustache off the Money Supermarket ads… anyway it all looked good and then something went wrong. You moved the car.

Exhaust Heat used a bizarre perspective of the road, and corners came up on you really suddenly. Well in fact almost instantly. By the time your brain had registered there was a corner, you were on the grass. This meant that you had to learn all the tracks off by heart to stand any chance of even completing a lap.

More seriously the track lurched all over the place, inducing motion sickness in all but the Stugeron dosed game player.  Unfortunately because the price of another game for the SNES was more than the cost of my SNES, Exhaust Heat was the only game I had for the system for a month or so. I actually got quite good at it. The pit stops were quite entertaining, and the other cars were nicely decaled up in correct Formula One liveries.

I actually grew to quite like it in some ways. My next purchases for the SNES though were Super Mario All Stars and Starwing. Exhaust Heat never got a look in again, as it hadn’t grown on me that much.