There were many game developers releasing games for specific platforms during the 90s. Many games were rlaunched and stayed on the market even though actually did not have particular popularity among gamers while others became real bestsellers. One such game that dominated 90’s and early 2000’s market was the Test Drive saga.
The versions of Test Drive
Test drive is a racing game. There were two distinct versions of Test Drive. The first one was about road racing while another one was dedicated to off-road racing. It was not that both of these games were crazy striking.
Yet, when it comes to the off-road series, Test Drive: off Road-3 was sheer madness. This particular version of the game turned out to be one of the most engaging games for the racer-heads back then. For the people, growing up in the times of automobile magazines and seeing all those monster off-road vehicles out there, having to finally drive them through the hills, dirt, mud, hazard racing at their place, was something that could make them forget about the whole world.
Test Drive: a short history
Test drive off-road was developed and published by the Infogrames North America. This fantastic game was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation as well as Gameboy Color. Word has it that they planned to launch this game for Dreamcast as well but it was cancelled for some issues regarding release. The game was released in 1999.
This was one hell of a game. Test Drive: off Road-3 starts with a fantastic clip of various off-road vehicles of the time. Then, it lands on the homepage with a wide array of fantastic nu-metal, pop-punk bands of the time, like Incubus, Girls against Boys, Blink182, Diesel Boy, Eve6. They were the killer fun bands of the time. These soundtracks themselves gave you the high fuel injected feelings that you needed to pump the gas and speed through various tracks, racing for your place.
The modes of Test Drive
There were three modes you could play. One was the Arcade, where you could just select your vehicles, tracks and start racing. It had functionality of what is known as a quick game. It was great to get a grasp of the track navigation and vehicles before you dive into the world championship.
The next mode was Tournament. Tournament is where you can play for a division. You start the tournament by selecting your vehicle. Initially you will start with something around 20,000 – 25,000 or 30,000 of the game’s cash. With this, you have to choose a vehicle from a very nice collection including such iconic cars as Jeep Wrangler, Nissan Frontier, Jeep Cherokee, Dodge Ram, Chenoweth, Ford F-150, Subaru Outback etc. With this, you start playing for the division. Each of the division had two sections while each of the sections contained three different tracks. Hilly areas in Canada, Yosemite, Red Rock, Vermont are some of the examples. Each of them had its own description of the track and you could select or modify your vehicles according to the best suited of the tracks.
Cash prizes on Test Drive
With each division, you will be rewarded with cash and a bonus cash prize. With that, you can upgrade or buy new vehicles before jumping into the next division.
You could also modify engines, suspension, tires and install kits which will give your vehicles that extra boost. Funny was how you had to earn for your upgrades unlike now, where you need earn, in real time, to pay for those upgrades. Those were the days of true gaming. The best thing was, there were also Easter eggs. You never knew what kind of vehicles or track you would unlock.
You can still play this game via emulators like RetroArch, ePSXe or others of your choice but it would never be the same as it was with real PlayStation. By the way, you can still find this game on the market.