One of the best driving games ever made, period. Also known as 4D Sports Driving (European Mindscape release), Stunts comes with an outstanding track editor. For a great synopsis of what makes it one of the best games in this century, here are some excerpts from GameBytes review: |
"In brief, Stunts is a stunt car racing game that has plenty of cars to drive, plenty of opponents to race (and beat), plenty of cliff-hanging stunts to try, and thousands of hours of excitement! Stunts is not a realistic racing simulator. [Rather,] Stunts belongs to a distinct genre that includes other titles such as Stunt Driver and Hard Drivin' II. All promise to offer similar features, but Stunts inevitably rates the best due simply to it's perfect controllability.
Stunts has a wide range to choose from, from the slow offroad 4WDs to turbo charged Formula 1 Racing Cars. The 4WDs are slow as snails, but handle well on icy roads. The racing cars on the other hand are fast, but are not much fun to drive on icy roads (in fact, it's possible to out-drag a F1 car in a 4WD on an icy road over a short distance!) You also have the option of driving each car with manual or automatic gearbox. [The game] has two modes of racing. A "practice" mode where you race against the clock (no opponent), and a "competitive" mode where you race against a single opponent. The toughest opponent is called "Skid Vicious" – a name to instill fear in would be challengers perhaps? His driving sure doesn't! In fact, all computer opponents share a high level of incompetence. They are slow, will reliably crash on any slightly tricky track, and if they don't, it is unbearably easy to "influence" them into doing so. BUT, the computer opponents can still provide a tough challenge if you don't mind racing them in a much slower car.
It is the presence of the simple track editor that makes Stunts a really great game. You can build tracks with three types of road surfaces, from a solid paved roads to slippery icy roads. There are a variety of "standard" road pieces, like corners, chicanes, crossroads, ramps, elevated roads, and banks. But the exciting part is the huge number of stunt pieces that you can include in your tracks. Tunnels, loops, corkscrews, pipes, half pipes, and "slalom" roads (roads with barricades that you have to "slalom" though). In addition there are a number of scenery pieces including buildings of various sizes, trees, ships, and even a tennis court?! Stunts also includes a terrain editor as part of the track editor.
To top it all off, Stunts also includes a 10-minute replay buffer (which is long enough for almost any race!). So when you complete that perfect drive, make an incredible recovery from a certain-death situation, or do anything that you want to take a second look at, it's preserved for you in the replay. Plus, the game provides a number of camera views, for use in both the replays and the races themselves!"
With great gameplay, literally thousands of hours of replayability and endless track design possibilities, it's no surprise that Stunts has remained popular through the years, and there are many fan sites on the Web (check the related links below for a start) as well as literally thousands of fan-made tracks. If you want to play only one fun enjoyable, but not necessarily realistic, driving game, Stunts is it. Two thumbs up! Also, check out the TrackMania review on this site for the very best "sequel-in-spirit" I have seen.
Note: For some info on the differences between Stunts and its European release 4D Sports Driving, read Alan Robinson's analysis, in which he proves beyond all doubt that Stunts 1.1 is superior. Also, here's a neat undocumented feature in the game: press SHIFT+F1 to access terrain pieces in the track editor.
Reviewed by: Rob