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. (Coleco [under license from Sega], 1982)
Memories: One of the seminal first-person racing games of the 80s, Turbo was one of several Sega coin-ops that caught the eye of Coleco. The one hurdle in bringing it to the ColecoVision? Having to invent a whole new controller that would be similar enough to Turbo‘s arcade control scheme without being so specific as to rule out using the driving controller for other games in the future. And thus was born Expansion Module #2, a steering wheel controller with a detachable “gas pedal.” It may seem like no big deal now, but ColecoVision was the first programmable video game console to sport such a peripheral. (The Atari VCS “driving controller,” while it predates this one, was nothing more than a repackaging of that company’s existing paddle controller.)
Turbo itself is surpsingly close to its inspiration from the arcade, looking, sounding and playing a whole lot like the original – definitely a plus for Coleco’s marketing efforts, for this was something the Atari 2600 simply could not do. (As with many other titles they had the rights to, Coleco announced a version of Turbo for the 2600, but the title feel between the cracks of the industry crash and was never released, seen only as a tantalizing advertising screenshot.)
The controller itself, for all of the planning that went into making it close enough for government work on Turbo and yet not Turbo-specific, only works with three or four other ColecoVision games.