Moto-Crash+

Moto-Crash+The Game: It’s a cross-country motorcycle race, and you’re at the handlebars. Avoid other bikes, stay within the traffic markers, and be alert to constantly changing lighting conditions and weather (this race is 24 hours a day, and the days seem awfully short). (Philips, 1984)

Memories: Released only in Europe (and, for the most part, confined to France, where it was sold for the Jopac+ console, the Gallic equivalent to the Videopac G7400 or the Odyssey3), Moto-Crash+ is a fairly bold attempt to do something that was unheard of on the original Odyssey2/Jopac hardware: a first-person racing game along the lines of Enduro.

Moto-Crash+Elsewhere in Europe, there was already a first-person racer for the G7400, Trans-American Rally, but Moto-Crash+ was more akin to first-person motorcycle games such as Hang-On or the brief first-person portions of Motorace USA. Virtually the only graphics generated with the original Odyssey2/Jopac graphics set are the solid-colored background areas, the oncoming traffic (noticeably much blockier and less detailed than the player’s bike) and the traffic markers whizzing past. The player”s own motorcycle and background mountain scenery were generated with the enhanced graphics set. As programming trade-offs go, it’s pretty smart – the stuff that moves the fastest is displayed by the older video hardware, which can handle the sheer speed.

Moto-Crash+Unfortunately, Moto-Crash+ is missing a certain consistent fun factor. It doesn’t inspire repeat play with the unforgiving speed of the oncoming traffic that the player has to pass: what could be a game of skill is reduced to more of a game of chance. Especially with the nighttime portions of the race, when there’s little opportunity to spot the other bikes as they zoom in, the game is more aggravating 3 quartersthan fun – perhaps a reduction of speed was in order. It’s little more than a first-person Speedway!.

It would’ve been a no-brainer to bring this game to the U.S. market if the Odyssey3 had been released, but it would’ve required further tweaking to make it fun.