The Game: It’s pretty straightforward…you’re zipping along in your Formula One race car, trying to avoid other drivers and obstacles along the way while hauling a sufficient quantity of butt to win the race. (Sega, 1981)
Memories: Ah, the driving game wars of the early 1980s. Remember when everyone was ga-ga over this game and Pole Position, which were both essentially very pretty remakes of Atari’s old Night Driver game? Though, to be quite honest, both of the early 80’s driving game staples were graphically impressive. Turbo reached the checkered flag first, though – Pole Position was released the following year in the U.S.
And still the battle rages on: which was better? Good question. I’ll chip in with my 25 cents and say that while I think Pole Position was easily the better game in terms of game play, Turbo was much prettier to look at, with more colorful graphics and more varied landscapes, including a seaside drive. It’s no coincidence, then, that Pole Position II corrected that deficiency with its own varied racing locales. I never thought Turbo played very smoothly, but it was worth playing at least once or twice to gawk at the graphics.
A very good port of Turbo was packed in with the steering wheel/gas pedal controller pack released for the ColecoVision console. Unlike many other licenses they snagged, Coleco didn’t get very far in porting Turbo to other machines such as the Atari 2600.