Monday, November 17, 2008


Mentioning Ugh! the other day has reminded me of another excellent PC game from the era of ye olde VGA graphics, which is of course Stunts.

Developed in 1990 by Distinctive Software (Test Drive, 4D Boxing) and published by 80s legend Brøderbund, Stunts was excellent for a number of reasons and it's a mystery to me how it's escaped a more widely known place in gaming canon.

To me, good driving games have always been about capturing the fun of playing with toy cars, and Stunts nails this. Most of the game involves jumping gaps, looping the loop, zooming around at high speeds and crashing into things. Its mission in life is to string together as many "holy crap!" moments as possible, back to back with nothing in between.

Also, Stunts is simple. There's no messing around with cutscenes or pimping your car or changing gears - it's all zoom, all the time. The mark of a classic.

Third, and most importantly, Stunts comes with a track editor - a track editor which is incredibly easy to use, and yet rather deep. Even a monkey can come up with their own improbable collection of loops, jumps, and inconveniently placed windmills. I probably spent as much time in the editor as I did in the actual game.

Stunts apparently still has a crazy-active fan community, and the game itself is abandonware and can be downloaded at (amongst other places) Abandonia. (Click here to download.)


Arkem said...

I loved Stunts (and Test Drive but to a far lesser extent).

I think you should check out Trackmania as it's the modern spiritual successor (though the awesome has been diluted through the ages!). Trackmania plays a bit like a multiplayer puzzle game rather than a racing sim at times.

Greg Tannahill said...

Is Trackmania free for the enjoyment of the masses? If so, can you provide sweet, sweet linkage?