Racing simulator

Speed Dreams

We last looked at a racing car simulation nearly a year ago. That was a game called Trigger Rally, which was a fun and playable arcade rally game. That review mentioned TORCS and Speed Dreams as possible alternatives, and it's brilliant to see that Speed Dreams recently picked up some development momentum. It's actually a multiplatform fork of TORCS itself, updating the even sparser 3D graphics with a new rendering engine and adding force feedback support to specific steering wheels. The game itself feels very similar to Geoff Crammond's original Formula 1 Grand Prix games on the early PCs and Amigas, albeit with modern frame rates and wider hardware support. This isn't a bad thing. What those early simulations lacked in modelling accuracy and photo-accurate rendering, they made up for with addictive playability and gameplay.

Speed Dreams is a first-person, in-seat racing game with tracks and locations inspired by real places. There's a split-screen mode, a professional career mode, and plenty of tuning options and car statistics to worry about, from G-force to tire wear. This latest release adds a location called Sao Paulo, which is based on the JosÈ Carlos Pace circuit more commonly known as Interlagos. It also adds new categories and car collections inspired by F1 racing in 2005 and 1967, as well as some famous non-F1 supercars. It plays brilliantly and makes a refreshing change from modern racing games with their many distractions. In Speed Dreams, you're forced to concentrate on the challenge of driving a perfect lap while also aggressively making your way through a field of drivers or defending your position from drivers behind you. You don't have to concern yourself with a backstory or winning a contract next season, but purely on winning points against the other racers. This is what made racing games originally fun, and it's great to report that it's still fun all these years later.

Project Website

The graphics may be austere, but they run blazingly fast on modern hardware and can run on a huge variety of computers.

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