Game information

Indianapolis 500

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Name: Indianapolis 500
Year: 1989
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Papyrus Design Group
Platform: PC
Genre: Racing
Total rating: 76.6% - rated 26 times
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Submitter: Res
Added: May 22 2004
Warez status: Abandonware

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Game review

Author: Misterduffy
Date: Jun 10 2004 - 21:12
Score: 60 points
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The general opinion of Indy cars is that they are the boring version of Formula 1. And reality frequently shows that, even though more people die driving Indy cars, it's generally a lot less fun to watch. Indianapolis 500, on the other hand, seems to take this accusation, swing it around very quickly and let it go through the nearest open window. On paper, you would indeed be thinking you'd bought the most boring racing game on the planet: one track, four corners, 200 laps. But this isn't the whole truth - let me explain why Indy 500 was for many years the best driving game on the PC.

The graphics, for the time, were superb - it was all polygon-based (oooh - processor intensive stuff!), various bits of the inside of the car moved around and the wheels actually looked like they were turning! (anyone who was a fan of Grand Prix will know what I mean) - you even get bits of polygon flying off the cars when they crash. Obviously the actual detail of the graphics wasn't that good but people had good imaginations back then.

Papyrus did an amazing job with the physics of the cars: you can change nearly every facet of the car's performance - fuel, wings, tyres, dampers, camber and even gear ratios - and each element affects the performance of your vehicle in some way. The AI of your opponents is also impressive in that it's quite humanoid - the other drivers might not be as mad or cunning as your but they're all out there to win and even make the occasional mistake along the way. You can't make cars take-off into the stands in true Indy style but the violence of the crashes and impacts are very realistic.

The way you're supposed to play the game is to practice (where you fine-tune the performance of your car) in preparation for the qualifying session which sets you up on the grid for the full 200-lap race. Again, the realism which has been worked into the game play is impressive - your car can be damaged in specific areas (individual tyres or wings for example) which can be repaired, provided you can make it back to the pits. And when there's an shunt of some kind, the yellow flags come out and you are forced to follow the person in front of you at snail's pace until the errant vehicle has been recovered. So that's a bit boring then.

Fortunately there are different race modes you can choose, the best one being ten laps, no yellow flags, no damage - a 'quick race' if you will. By 'no yellow flags', they mean cars are not recovered and cars don't slow down approaching an incident. So, like Carmageddon showed us many years later, there are actually two ways you can win the race: get to the finish line first or eliminate every other opponent (sorry - no pedestrians here). And you don't even need to catch each car to take them out - mash a couple of opponents on the pit straight and because of the lack of infield there, they're likely to cause an obstruction when the pack comes back around again and piles in causing a huge cascading crash. You can then laugh maniacally as you pass through the carnage and see your track position increase from 25th to 7th.

What about when you're not in the area of the track at the time of a crash? How will you satisfy your macabre needs if you don't know how it happened? Action replay of course. Yes, probably the best feature of this game is the replay feature which allows you to view the last ten-or-so seconds of the race either from your own car (from various angles) or a TV-style vista of the crash itself. you can even save your best incidents to show your imaginary friends later.

Indianapolis 500 is an absolute classic - the game play is so spot-on you could play it again and again and again and never get bored because, ultimately, creating the perfect crash is just too much fun.

Game files

  Type / Title Downloads / Views Action
Download full game 1048 Download
Cheat: Optimal car setup 790 Read
Cheat: Super engine 2062 Read

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By Bee_94 - Jul 10 2015 - 16:49
If you slam a opponent hard, watch them blow up to shreds of metal. I just did the same thing in Grand Prix 3 and 4.
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By Crazyguy1990 - May 13 2010 - 13:18
@ Kieko & DK This game is also incredibly difficult, but fun -tongue-
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By Res - Apr 01 2010 - 22:31
The full game download has been replaced. Now the game should work like a charm when using Windows XP, Vista and 7.

When you experience any difficulties concerning running the game please send me a message by clicking my username. Thanks in advance.

Have fun!
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By Keijo - Jan 21 2010 - 20:34
This game has pretty impressive physics modelling for it's age and it really is fun to monkey around with the car setups just to see what happens.
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By HDK - Jun 21 2006 - 22:21
This game is still really entertaining. It's pretty hard to get the right setup and stuff, and the field is really based off of the real 1989 Indianapolis 500.

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