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cdk > All Time Greatest Games > Stunts

Stunts / 4DDrive









In its day, 1991, Stunts (a.k.a. 4DDrive in Europe) was the best exotic-car simulator around.

Developer DSI (Distinctive Software, Inc.)
Publisher Broderbund
Mindscape (European version - re-released as part of Mindscape's forgotten "4D Sports" series of games)
Released 1991
Platform MS-DOS. Runs well under Windows 9x.
Also runs on Windows NT (including Windows xp) and various DOS emulators, but is subject to minor timing variations on these platforms.

Predecessors

The Predecessors to STUNTS / 4ddrive were the late eighties Test Drive 1 and 2, as stated in the introductory About screen. Test Drive One and Two only came with 2 cars, the Porsche 959 and Ferrari F40. STUNTS remedies with with a far greater choice, and a far more impressive engine than the simple speed = faster frame update type of the Test Drives. In fact, unlike many car racing games produced prior and since (where the car is restricted to travelling along the road surface), Stunts has a true 3D game engine with realistic physics, similar to a those used in flight simulators.

Screenshots

DSI
An Impressive opening Screen a Taste of Things to Come
Main Menu
Funny modified Road signs invite a selection
Make Your Choice
Oooo the GTO!

Driving
One Hundred mph are required to make the jump.
OoOps
Outa my way!
Hello
Descending the Jump to... a nasty Obstacle course!
CRASHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The Cars

What Makes Stunts Unique is the assortment of cars is not quite what one might expect. Instead of an assortment of the most expensive exotic road cars, (there are race cars instead), we have your every day Corvette, Audi Quattro, LM 002, (A 4wd Truck!!!!), the rare Ferrari GTO V8  instead of the more ubiquitous Ferrari 308 or 329 or Testarossa. Also included are the immortal Lamborghini Countach, but it's the 25th anniversary not a 400s (yuk!), a Porsche 911 (NOT turbo!), and a boring Honda NSX. So far so good. The Racing cars include a Porsche March Indy Car from the 80's, a Porsche and Jaguar Le Mans cars. Although these cars are very low and fast, they disapointingly lack a speedometer (like their real counterparts I might add), but this makes them rather disapoining in a way.

Overall, Stunts is easily the most successful of all the early car sims.

Tracks

What made Stunts unique was a track editor, where one could custimise scenery, including not only roads, but tennis courts, skyscrapers, barnyards, windmills, trees, etc.

Cheats / Secrets

Hidden terrain editor: Normally when you create a new track, you are restricted to selecting one of five pre-made terrain maps on which to build your track.
Pressing Shift-F1 in the track editor however, changes the track palette to a terrain palette, allowing you to draw in hills and rivers anywhere on the map.

No Speed Limit: Select the Porche March Indy, then while driving in top gear (5th) at high speed, get airborne by going over a jump or hill, for long enough so that the tachometer goes up to the maximum possible number of engine RPMs. Then, for as long as you continue to hold down the up arrow (accelerator) key (assuming you're using keyboard controls, that is), the tachometer needle will stay at fixed at max RPM even on rough terrain, and you'll find that you can go fast enough to cross the entire map in barely half a minute.

Successors

The Direct successor to Stunts was of course The Need for Speed (developed by the same people), which came out by the mid 90's and showed a tremendous improvement in graphics levels. The giveaway that it was a successor to Stunts was the idea of great scenery, and an assortment of cars which matched that delivered by Stunts.


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