Austin Cooper S Racing Review

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Austin Title

Installation:
Fairly straightforward and easy but a bit too complicated for some users with choices of Typical, Full or Custom. Hard drives are not small enough anymore to need this many options for a game that installs (with “full” option) to take up just 280MB, are they?

After the installation routine, you click the icon to start playing and are presented with a video/graphics setup window. The first thing I noticed was how many options there were in the resolution dropdown (once you click the “display all available modes” checkbox). My widescreen monitor resolution of 1920×1200 is supported.

Austin 1
Austin 2

Above: Resolution options for
the game are limited.

Left: Most modern PC’s can easily handle the additional graphics
options made available when
you click “advanced”.


Gameplay
Well for an adult, this game isn’t too interesting. It’s easy to win and it’s annoyingly easy to get stuck…

Austin Stuck
Getting stuck behind objects is just one of the annoyances to this title…

For kids, this is a fun game with quite a few options heading into a race. There really is nothing more to be said – and that’s not good!

Enter race Enter race 2 Enter race 3

Graphics
One of the first things I noticed was that in the menu system, some text runs off the page. This is probably due to my use of a widescreen monitor, I wouldn’t expect to see this issue on a 4:3 ratio. Overall the graphics are really nice, they are sharp, the models are good and the tracks are well represented.

Controllers
Austin Control MenuYou are able to setup an interface device (like a steering wheel or joystick) to play the game, but I feel for this kind of game there is no advantage in terms of enjoyment or control in doing that. The keyboard controls function very well and are easily reached even by the smallest hands.

Sound
Austin Sound MenuThe audio is good enough, nothing more. It’s hard to see that this title is so new, because frankly it sounds about 10 years old… Music is pretty much what you would expect from this friendly arcade racer but I can’t help feeling like I am walking around a fashionable high street clothing store while I listen to it? The only adjustments available for the sound is the volume of the music and sound effects, this is done via the in-game menu.

Features: Saving the game
The game comes with a fantastic save game archive. There is plenty of room to save your games and those of all your friends and family. A nice touch is the autosave features, meaning even small children are able to race without worrying or even really needing to know how to save their progress.

Save areas

Pros
Licensed Mini Cooper race cars.
Very nice graphics.
Multiple save areas along with automatic game saves, ideal for family play.

Mixed
Gameplay can go up or down with this one…

Cons
Not really that interesting.
The sound… Oh god, the sound…
Minor Issue: Text runs off the page on some menu areas when played using a widescreen monitor.

Official Screenshots
Mini 1 Mini 2 Mini 3 Mini 4
Mini 5
Mini 6

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I began my gaming journey via the family Commodore Vic-20, then later with my own C-64 and Amiga A600. These systems kept my attention until I moved up to PCs around the Windows MS-DOS Pre-Windows 95 era, which means I never really got into the console gaming market in a big way.

My parents spent a significant amount of time sharing my early gaming experiences, and this really helped foster my interests. I discovered racing games and space games for the first time, and those are still my main genres of interest to this day.

These days I use gaming to try to escape from the pressures of real life. I also occasionally upload or stream gameplay to YouTube and Twitch, and rather than doing this to instruct others of the best way to play, I do it because of the social interaction with viewers and other gamers.

Left: Monkey Island 2 Special Edition (a remaster of the original Amiga and PC-DOS classic).

 
 
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Tim is British and lives in the United States with his wife and kids.

He works for software developers Image Space Inc. and Studio 397 on their racing simulations, and is a fan of Gaming, Motorsports, and photography.