Moonshine Racers
for Amiga (OCS/ECS)

Mr Creosote:
Company: PeakStar / Millenium
Year: 1991
Genre: Action
Theme: Driving / Police & Gangsters
Language: English
Licence: Commercial
Views: 2540
Review by Mr Creosote (2021-01-30)

A bit of flair can do wonders when it comes to the fun factor of essentially simplistic and rather average games. Moonshine Racers, strictly speaking, does very little on top of the established Outrun formula: looking at the static car sprite in the screen centre, move the surroundings around with your joystick to “stay on the road”. It does, however, distinguish itself with lots of… style.

Don't let the square establishment win!

It starts with the excuse for driving. There is really no race per se. The player takes over the role of a illegal alcohol smuggler (hence Moonshine) tasked to deliver the hot stuff to several places while avoiding police. So you may think, sure, easy, let's sneak past them when they're not watching, but no. To keep up a basic time pressure, there is an arbitrary deadline for each delivery.

Appropriate to the theme, the game is set in the rural backwoods, populated by redneck hillbillies. All through the race, heavily accented radio communication accompanied by nicely drawn character portraits takes place. Not that you have large opportunities to pay close attention, but nice nevertheless.

Oops, I think she means us!

On top, keeping with the theme, the player of course drives appropriately junky pick up trucks. Their engine tends to overheat until it catches fire. Obstacles appear on the road; some solid, but some make the car jump – dangerous, as the cargo may spill. Refills may be available on the side of the road, however. And watch out for the police chasing you, of course. Additional standard genre features include the occasional branching road, car improvement between jobs and even upgrading to a new car at some point. Nothing breathraking, but all welcome.

Which is basically the summary of the whole game anyway. Moonshine Racers doesn't do anything fundamentally new, but it also does nothing wrong beyond maybe some minor framerate issues. It's well playable. The original theme lifts it above the bog-standard competition for some time. This will wear out at some point, but until then, have fun!

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