Well, for one thing, it really should have been called 16 Bit Rally, since this is really a tribute to games like Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge or Crazy Cars that were so much fun on the Amiga. But hey, semantics!
This was the last generation of racing games before fully polygonal racing became the standard, and tracks were simply a combination of left and right turns, hills and lots of sprites whizzing by the side that you shouldn’t run into.
8 Bit Rally is a real cracker of a racing game. It’s a no-nonsense affair where you drive a hot sports car (of a colour of your choice) around some of the world’s most exotic locations while racing against 19 other identical cars. At the end of each race you’re awarded prize money and league points based on your race position, which you use to upgrade your tire grip, engine power and something else that the icon doesn’t explain clearly. It looks like a trumpet. That would be pretty cool if you could use a trumpet.
What I really like is that it perfectly encapsulates the feeling of those games from the Shaun Southern era of racing titles. The way the objects on the side scale towards you, the way the AI cars move in front of you to block your path and be a real pain in the butt, the way the weather effects are simulated by throwing lots of flickering rain or snow sprites around…it’s just a fun trip down memory highway.
If I was a reviewer I would have given it a Sizzler.