Geoff Crammond gave us a glimpse of 3D racing back in the day with Microprose Grand Prix, which for it’s time, was a truly breathtaking game. What a lot of people seem to forget is that his true gaming classic was Stunt Car Racer, and you have to believe that if it wasn’t for this, the GP title would not have happened.
The scary part of it all is that the original itself is over 20 years old, which makes the fact that the gameplay has remained incredibly fresh all the more impressive. There were 8 tracks in the game, which competed you against two AI racers over 3 divisions, with each race getting harder as you went on. The beauty of Stunt Car Racer is that there were no side walls or invisible barriers to stop you from falling off the rollercoaster styled tracks.
What all this meant is that you had to be fast, but also careful not to damage and potentially wreck your own vehicle. It was also playable in multiplayer, but this was only possible through null port connection. There was always talk of a sequel, but this never happened.
The best example of playing a game of this style nowadays, without actually using the original code, is to play Trackmania, which in a way feels like its spiritual successor.
Was Stunt Car Racer the best 3D racer on the Amiga? To me it was, as I feel the sheer arcade urgency and simplicity eclipses Microprose Grand Prix and takes the other driving games to the cleaners in terms of fun factor because no other made you feel like you were fighting on the edge to keep on the road. Will we ever see anything like it again from the man himself? Only he knows, but what he did on the Amiga with this will be firmly embedded in its automotive history forever.