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Scorcher (pc game)
4.67 out of 5 (21 votes)
  • Game introduction title screen - cover
  • Choose a stage
  • On the road
  • Take it easy
  • Stay on the track
  • Maybe next time
  • Watch out
  • In the tunnels
  • Make the jump
  • Boost!
  • Plenty of time
  • Get off the wall
  • Oh dear
  • Stay on target
  • Taking a left turn
  • Courtesy of Abandonware France.
  • Image extracted from gameplay video.
  • Courtesy of Abandonware France.

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Fun but short-lived futuristic racer

Another in a long line of futuristic racing games that were popular in the 90s (see Wipeout, Extreme G and its sequel etc), Scorcher offers nothing new to the genre, but provides a fun and reasonably thrilling experience that is fun for a while. Players take control of a Vexoid, a sort of hi-tech cyberbike and can choose from three game modes, Time Attack, Practice or Championship. Practice is fairly self-explanatory, Time Attack pits you against up to five AI opponents on a single course, while Championship is the expected full season competition that takes you through all the available tracks. Your bike's handling is fairly simple, lacking sophistication or depth, but tracks are impressive enough, with a high level of detail and a great sense of speed (although there is some slowdown at times). There is a nice sense of an oppressive future regime, with dark, gloomy backdrops while the AI provides a reasonable challenge. As is typical of the genre, the music is little more than your average techno, which players will either love or hate but the biggest problem here is the lack of tracks. There are only six which simply isn't enough to provide any long-term interest, and when combined with the lack of multi-player, this reduces the game's appeal significantly. While Scorcher impresses with its graphics and course design, it is only as fun as those six, short tracks last, which isn't going to be long for most gamers.

Faster, faster

Scorcher is a futuristic racing game developed by Zyrinx for PC and Sega Saturn Console in November of 1996. You control a special motorcycle that can go up to 450km/h and race through various dangerous tracks against three other computer players for 4 laps. There are a lot of things to love and hate in the graphics department, since the tracks and enviroment and the driving itself look very good but there seems to be a slowdown when there are more racers with you, which is the situation in Championship mode. As for sound, if you like techno (I don't), you'll like it, if you don't, try to listen to something else while playing, like I did. The gameplay is fairly typical for a racing game, with a lot of turns and twists, and you pick up small "diamonds" on the way that give you speed boost or jumps. There isn't an option for a 2 player match, which is a downside, and the other problem is that the game doesn't last very long. But, for as little as it lasts, if you figure out the tricky controls, you're garanteed to have a good time.

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