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Nitro

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Released: 1990

Genre: Racing

Format reviewed: Amiga 500

Publisher: Psygnosis

Developer: Psygnosis

Submitted by: Adam Starr

Nitro is a sublime ‘eagle-eye’ racer by Psygnosis – it’s essentially an evolution of Super Sprint, with the key difference being that rather than it being fixed screen, you race around a scrolling arena. The game opens with a very atmospheric soundtrack and a press on the fire button throws you straight in to the character selection screen. Car colour and character selection is fixed depending whether you are player one, two or three, but the differences are purely cosmetic. Where you do get a choice is the type of vehicle you wish to control. There’s turbo buggy, sports car or an F1 car to pick from with each having pros and cons including varying rates of fuel consumption, and depending on which of the four terrains you are driving on, you’ll notice that they perform differently.

The game will always start with four cars on the starting grid, and the CPU will fill in for any absent human players, and the aim of the game is straight forward: to get to the finish line as quickly as possible. Of course, it’s not that simple. Not only are you fighting for position (1-4), but you must not run out of fuel. Fuel is essentially a timer which ticks down as you race and luckily you can pick up fuel throughout the race or purchase it between each of the 32 races in the shop. The shop also allows you to buy car upgrades such as better traction, speed or nitro boosts. Credits to buy items in the shop can be picked up during the races, meaning that finishing first is not always crucial.

The only complaint I can make about Nitro is that sometimes the view can be a little zoomed in, making it very difficult sometimes to see the track ahead in sufficient time to know where to turn. Overall it’s a very good game that has always kept me coming back for more. If you like this genre of game, make sure you give Nitro a try.