Ignition is a 1997 racing game developed by the Swedish company UDS (Unique Development Studios). It initially gained a lot of attention for its competitive multiplayer, but it has since disappeared from the gaming consciousness.
The game takes the top-down viewpoint in a similar vein to Micro Machines. While this view was obviously chosen due to technical limitations, it also has some major drawbacks. The 3D graphics were above average for the time, with detailed and varied track designs. The camera focuses on your car no matter what as it zooms around the track. This can be very distracting as the orientation is constantly shifting, not allowing much time to see what dangers lie ahead.
The cars available are also a varied bunch, ranging from mini coopers to police cars and school buses. The each handle differently, so pay attention to the stats on screen. I initially found the controls to be a bit floaty and often found myself over-steering and crashing into walls. I eventually got the hang of it, but I never quite mastered it. Perhaps a marathon gaming session is in order.
This nuanced control scheme is perhaps the greatest barrier for newcomers to the game. The overall presentation of the game is very arcadey with a seemingly simple control scheme, but you wont win your first race on your first try. Unless you are a gaming guru, you probably won't see past last place for some time.
Its a shame as everything about this game looks to be fun, and it is, but the simple implementation of rubber-banding (which was a thing at the time) would've meant your competitors wouldn't have left you behind for the entire race.
You're more than likely to get some enjoyment out Ignition. There are even a small group of rabid fans out there who won't hear a bad word about it. Even though I seemed to be forever stuck at last place, I found the tracks thoroughly entertaining to drive through. I may give it another go to see if there's anything I missed because it cannot possibly be that I suck at racing games. Feel free to give it a go yourself - I probably did miss something, I swear.
As of 10th January 2016, Ignition has become available DRM free on Good Old Games. Follow the link below to purchase it.
Buy from GOG
Ignition is © Unique Developers Studios
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me