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Test Drive 2: The Duel

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Name: Test Drive 2: The Duel
Year: 1989
Publisher: Accolade
Developer: Distinctive Software
Platform: PC
Genre: Racing
Total rating: 83% - rated 18 times
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Submitter: Res
Added: May 22 2004
Warez status: Abandonware

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Game review

Author: Bokkie
Date: May 19 2005 - 11:51
Score: 90 points
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This is what I remember typing hundreds of times on my dad's 286 back in the early 90's. A couple of seconds later the little buzzer tune would kick in and the accolade startup screen would start. Back then this game was just the epitome of cool for me. The fast cars, the "3d" graphics, the thrill of being chased by the police and dodging cars with shocked looking families in. Test drive 2 might not have been the first racing game ever but I think it will always stand as a classic of 286 gaming.

The controls are typical of any racing game. You choose automatic or manual, then accelerate with forwards, turn with left and right, brake with back, gears with a and z. What more do you need? Of course your racing wheels and force feedback gamepads aren't going to work too well here so better get used to the idea of wearing out your "forward" key.

The whole point of the game is to win the duel between yourself and your opponent. You race through various regions until you hit the checkpoint and so on until the end. Because you're not supposed to be racing, there are plenty of others cars on the road and plenty of cops too. Good thing you have a built-in radar scanner to let you know when the fuzz are around. Just floor the accelerator and they shouldn't be a problem. So while beating your opponent in flat out speed is easy, the big challenge comes in not crashing into obstacles, getting busted by cops or falling off cliffs. Too many crashes and you're out the game.

The actual tracks can get pretty tricky and if you're trying to go full speed around every corner you will come short. The level of challenge is decent and you won't win every time until you get a feel for the levels.

Dynamics of the cars are probably better handled then any other racing game back then was doing. The RUF twin turbo, while incredibly fast, handles like Mr Bean sitting on his mini steering with a string. On the other hand, the blindingly slow Pontiac GTO, will go where you tell it to better than a well trained dog. Then of course there is everything in between. Your car will also slow down up hills and gain speed down them, so the horsepower of the car will really show in how much power you lose. Back then they didn't have mega processor power so you can naturally understand if it still doesn't feel 100% but the effort put into car dynamics by accolade definitely shows.

Graphics are for a 286, Ega computer, so what do expect, Monet? Picasso? Micheangelo? Having said this, however, I do think that they are good for their age and limited 16 colour palette. There are plenty of little scenery items, some of them moving, and lots of different cars that have been put in. They also made the game 3d, in a sense, and so you see hills rising up before you and looking down the cliffs you'll see the sea (cdc?). Okay so it's no Need for Speed underground, and 3d is created with sprites but there is a lot more effore to the graphics than meets the modern eye.

Back in the days of PC buzzer sounds, game developers must have loved making racing games, simply becuase engine noises are just about the only sounds that PC buzzers can render without causing listeners to retch. So expect lots of revving engine noises in this game along with a few police sirens and wierd crash noises. Surgeon General Health Warning: The monophonic music of the game "Test drive 2" is repetitive and will get stuck in your head. You have been warned. Sounds and music? You get better sounds out of an original Nokia brick, but real retro gamers don't care about cool sounds anyway so party on regardless...

Overall, TD2 is a real classic. Realistic for it's time, it made good with what it had. Neat car handling, reasonable challenge, easy controls, wide variety of cars and great graphics for that time. Accolade didn't invent the racing game, but with "The Duel" the raised the bar of what a racer should feel like and paved the way for the future. It's a small game and will you won't even miss the credits it'll cost you but it's well worth a look if you really like the classics and are a real racing fan.

OK this is quite simple. Give yourself the Pontiac GTO, then give your opponent the RUF twin turbo. Set difficulty to max and if you even come close to beating this guy, post some evidence on the forum and you will be revered by all who know the impossibilities of what you have achieved. PS: if your engine is revving too high it's becuase you forgot to change gear, idiot. See you at the finish line...

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By Bee_94 - Jan 09 2015 - 23:08
Give yourself a Muscle Car, and give the opponent a Porsche 959 supercar, and watch the smoke fly!
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By Bee_94 - Dec 17 2014 - 18:03
The Megadrive theme tune is awesome! Also the Amiga.
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By Res - Apr 03 2010 - 12:08
The full game download has been replaced. Now the game should work like a charm when using Windows XP, Vista and 7.

Next to this the download now features all official Test Drive II addons:
- Test Drive II Car Disk: Musclecars
- Test Drive II Car Disk: The Supercars
- Test Drive II Scenery Disk: California Challenge
- Test Drive II Scenery Disk: European Challenge

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 Coyote4 - May 24 2008 - 21:57
Anyone has the musclecar and california add-on ?
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By Widdi - Jul 29 2007 - 12:42
I love this game, since I first played it back in 1993 on an 386. I've got the TestDrive triple pack from abandonia, which includes all Addons from TD2. The graphics are nice for something made almost 20 years back in time. And the best of all. it even runs smoothly on my 2ghz computer, ignoring the bug with the multiple-HD problem of the game.

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